Roasted Poblanos in Cream Sauce (Rajas con Crema)
Mexican, Mexican and Tex Mex
Char the whole poblano chiles: Char the whole poblano chile peppers on all sides. The best way to do this is over an open flame of a gas stove. Just place the raw whole chile peppers directly on the grate covering the flame and let the flame blacken the outside skin of the peppers. When one side has blackened, use tongs to turn the chile over a little so the flame can blacken another side. You can also use a broiler to blacken the chile peppers, but direct flame is the best way. Sometimes with a broiler the chiles end up cooking too much before they blacken. They should still be a little firm. This is easier to control when you cook them directly over flame. Place the chiles in a bowl, cover: Once the peppers are blackened all over (you can still have a few green spots), place them in a glass bowl and cover them with a plate. Let the chiles steam in their own heat for a few minutes. Wipe away the charred bits: When the chiles are cool to touch, remove them from the bowl. Working over a sink (this part is messy) use your fingers or a damp towel to strip off the blackened parts. Try to avoid running the chiles themselves under water, as that may wash away some good flavor. But you may find it easier to rinse your hands with water as you are stripping the blackened bits off. Open the chiles, remove stems, seeds, inner veins, then cut the chiles into strips: Once the blackened outer skin is removed, open up the chiles and cut out and discard the stems, seeds, and inner veins. Cut the chiles into long strips, about an inch wide. Many recipes call for thin strips, about a half inch wide, which you can do if you want. I just like them with thicker strips. Set aside. Cook onions in butter: Heat the butter (can use vegetable oil instead if you want) in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chiles, crema, milk: Add the poblano chiles to the onions. Sprinkle the chiles with salt. Add the Mexican crema and the milk. Gently stir to coat the chiles. Let cook for several minutes, until the chiles are completely cooked through and the sauce is bubbly and a little reduced. Stir in the grated cheese: Sprinkle in the grated jack cheese. Stir with the hot crema sauce until the cheese has melted and mixed in with the crema sauce. Serve with warmed corn or flour tortillas.