When I was really young, we’d sometimes stop by the tortilla factory on our way home from school or errands and grab a fresh tortilla as a snack, as well as a bag for later on. Along with the smell of freshly charred chiles, it’s one of my favorite smells that bring strong flashbacks of my childhood. Fresh tortillas have a special place in my heart, and that’s why it’s worth going out of the way to make them. We’ll talk about those in another post..
Those charred chiles though. Chile Rellenos are one of the most special dishes in my life. It was unarguably my mother’s favorite food – anytime it was on a menu at a Mexican joint (and we went to a lot of those!) she ordered it – and anytime she got her hands on some green chiles, the charred scent of spice would come wafting into the house soon after. It was the best dish she made, and because of that it’s easily my favorite dish out there. It’s one of the most comforting, ooey-gooey, I’m-in-heaven dishes of all time. Something that runs just as close to that, but is more of a later in a life development, is Rajas Poblanas. This dish is everything that a chile relleno offers, but simmered down into a delicious sauce-like filling for fresh corn or flour tortillas.
When some friends were having us over for a Mexican themed night, I knew exactly what to make, especially since one friend was veggie. This dish was a total hit! Everyone raved about them and finished them right up. It helped to serve them along fresh flour tortillas, as well.
It’s a simple, easy to make dish that you really can’t get wrong. You don’t even need any special tools – just an open flame (broiler, gas burners), some patience, a pot and some more patience again. Is it worth all that patience? You bet. When you sink your teeth into a tortilla filled with these chilies, you won’t know what hit you. Go on, give it a shot. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
This is my own developed recipe, and some things may be slightly off so I recommend going by what seems right — does it look like it needs more crema? Great! Add more. Not salty enough? Sweet, toss in a bit more!
Makes about 2 cups of filling. If you’re like me and A, you won’t have much leftover between two of you so I recommend a double batch for good leftover eats or if you’re feeding more friends and family.
- 2 lbs poblanos or pasilla chiles
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ish of oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ish of salt — more to taste at the end
- Fresh cracked black pepper, optional, to taste
- ~1/4-1/2 cup mexican crema **
- 1 whole serrano in it, but it was pretty spicy. Caution if you want to add that.
Prep and Cook
Slice the onion and finely chop garlic. Sauté on low in olive oil and/or butter for about 20-25 mins. I added some vegetable stock (kept it veggie-friendly) midway through to add more flavor and keep it from browning too much.
Meanwhile, roast the chiles. Put them in the broiler for about 5-10 minutes each side. Once blackened, put in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes to cool and steam. Peel, de-seed and slice into strips.
Add the chiles to the onion mixture. Cook on med-low for about ten more minutes.
Add mexican creama. Simmer for at least ten more minutes – but could simmer for a while to really cook it down. In my opinion, you can’t simmer it too much – the more it simmers, the more the flavors really come together and work even better.
Serve with monterey jack cheese on tortilla, along with the gamut of taco toppings.
** Can sub regular sour cream for mexican creama. Would likely want to add more salt.
Pro-Tip – Leftover rajas are absolutely phenomenal in a grilled cheese sandwich. Holy moly.