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Poblano Chile

Potato and Poblano Rajas Salad

Potato and Poblano Rajas Salad
Ensalada de Papitas con Rajas

Serves: 6

Ensalada de Papitas con Rajas" alt="Potato and Poblano Rajas Salad
Ensalada de Papitas con Rajas" />


2 pounds baby red potatoes

3 poblano chiles, charred, sweated, peeled and cut into strips

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 1/2 cups halved and thinly sliced red onion

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 cup sesame seeds

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

To Prepare

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Drop in the red potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, until they are cooked through and the tip of a knife goes in without much resistance, but the potatoes are not falling apart. When ready, drain into a colander. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into halves.

In a large deep skillet or casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the sesame oil. Stir in the red onion and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring once in a while, until they have completely softened and edges have begun to slightly brown. Incorporate the poblano chile rajas (strips), stir, cook for a minute or two.

Add the tarragon, allspice and sesame seeds and cook for a couple minutes. Pour in the white wine vinegar and rice vinegar, stir, cook for another minute and turn off the heat.

Place the potatoes in a large bowl, pour the onion, rajas, oil and vinegar mixture on top, and gently toss. Serve warm, at room temperature (how I like them the best) or cold.


Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos

Serves: makes 6 to 8 chiles rellenos

Chiles Rellenos


6 to 8 poblano chiles (about 2 pounds)

1 batch red sauce or salsa roja (recipe follows)

3 to 4 cups grated melty cheese such as Monterey Jack, mozzarella or Muenster

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil, for frying

To Prepare

To prepare the poblano chiles for stuffing: Place chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly over the open flame. I prefer to broil them. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, while the flesh must be cooked but not burnt. Place them immediately in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Lastly, under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin, which should come right off. Make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins. Once cleaned, pat them dry.

Stuff each of the poblano chiles with about 1/2 cup grated cheese, or as much as will fit, allowing them to close. You may seal with a toothpick. Place 1/2 cup flour on a plate, roll the stuffed chiles in the flour and let them sit. The flour coating will help the batter coat and stay on the chiles.

To prepare the batter: In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Gently, on low speed, fold in the egg yolks and only beat enough so that they are incorporated, a few seconds.

To cook the chiles: In a large casserole, heat about 1/2-inch of oil over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, test the oil, by dipping a teaspoon of batter into the oil; if there are active bubbles all around it, it’s ready. Dip each of the stuffed and floured chiles into the egg batter, making sure that they are entirely covered in batter.

In batches, place them in the hot oil without overcrowding, trying to have the side that was open or sealed with the toothpick facing up. Spoon some of the hot oil on top, so that it will seal the chile. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, flipping genly with a slotted spoon, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel covered drying rack or platter.

Heat the salsa roja. Serve the chiles with a generous amount of salsa roja spooned on top. Alternatively, you can place the chiles in a casserole and top with the heated salsa roja. Eat while hot and melty!


Red Sauce
Salsa Roja

Serves: makes about 4 cups


2 pounds ripe tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, with skin on

1 1-inch thick slice of a large white onion (about 2 ounces), outer skin peeled off

3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

To Prepare

Place the tomatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are completely smooth, cooked and mushy.

Place tomatoes and garlic in a blender along with the onion and salt, and process until completely smooth.

Heat the oil in medium saucepan, set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, pour in the tomato sauce, cover with a lid partially and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring here and there. Add the chicken broth, stir and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, until well seasoned and lightly thickened.


March 28, 2014
Rajas Potato Salad

If you are going to try a new potato salad, it has to be this one.

It’s rich. It’s filling. Yet at the same time, it’s light and bright. How can this happen? You may wonder…

Soft tender potatoes are combined with an exuberant poblano chile rajas, or strips, and lightly caramelized red onion mix. It’s not a creamy salad, but one that has an unexpected vinegary kick, laced with olive and sesame oils.

In my kitchen, it’s a well documented fact that poblano chiles love the company of allspice. And it is no secret that potatoes love to be showered with tarragon. Mix it all up, and I want to eat the entire serves-six-people bowl.

Continue reading Potato and Poblano Rajas Salad

Mac N' Cheese Mexicano

Mac 'N Cheese Mexicano
Mac 'N Cheese a la Mexicana

Serves: 8 to 10

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Mac 'N Cheese a la Mexicana" />


1 pound penne or elbow-shaped pasta

3 large poblano chiles (about 3/4 pound) rinsed, stemmed, seeded and cut into large chunks

3 cups milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the dish

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 cups grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, plus 1 cup for topping

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesano-Reggiano cheese, plus 1/2 cup for topping

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped white onion

1 cup corn kernels, shaved from the cob or thawed from frozen

1/2 pound chopped zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)

5 to 6 slices of bacon, fried and cut into chunks (optional)

1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

To Prepare

Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking dish.

In the jar of a blender, puree the poblano chiles and milk until completely smooth. Strain into a bowl, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure you get mostly liquid.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once it has melted and begins to bubble, add the flour. Cook, stirring continuously to make a roux or paste until you get the desired color (I go for light brown and a toasty aroma), about 2 minutes. Pour the poblano chile mixture into the roux or paste, stirring as you do. Add salt and freshly ground pepper and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally stirring. If it gets lumpy, you can smooth the sauce by beating with a whisk. Add 3 cups of Monterey Jack cheese and 1 cup of Pecorino Romano, mix well, remove from heat and stir until well combined.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until completely soft and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook for a couple minutes. Add the zucchini, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, mix well and set aside. We don’t want to cook the zucchini here, as it will cook in the oven.

In the large pot, where the pasta was cooked, add the drained pasta, poblano chile sauce and sautéed vegetables, gently toss to mix. If using fried bacon, add it in here! Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with the remaining grated cheeses and place in the oven until the top layer of cheese has melted and begun to crisp along the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.


poblano, bacon and cheddar skillet cornbread

Poblano, Bacon and Cheddar Skillet Cornbread
Pan de Elote de Cazuela con Poblanos, Tocino y Queso Cheddar

Serves: 10

Pan de Elote de Cazuela con Poblanos, Tocino y Queso Cheddar" alt="Poblano, Bacon and Cheddar Skillet Cornbread
Pan de Elote de Cazuela con Poblanos, Tocino y Queso Cheddar" />


3 poblano chiles, charred, sweated, peeled, seeded and diced

6 to 8 center cut bacon slices

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 eggs, well beaten

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

2 cups corn kernels, preferably fresh, or thawed from frozen

To Prepare

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a large cast-iron pan, over medium-high heat, add the bacon. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the bacon from the pan and turn off the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the milk, cream and eggs. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the cheddar cheese, corn and poblano chiles. Crumble the bacon and toss it in. Pour in most of the bacon fat from the cast-iron pan into the batter, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Mix well.

Place the cast-iron pan with the remaining bacon drippings again over medium heat, pour the batter into the pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve.


May 31, 2010
squash blossom quesadillas

The last time I was at the Mexico City Chapultepec Fair was 20 years ago, with my high school friends. Going back last weekend with my own growing monsters, confirmed that it is not an ordinary Fair experience, ever, regardless of one’s age.

Yes, you find the balloons, with a mix of Mexican and American characters, right at the main entrance.

Continue reading Quesadillas at the Mexico City Fair

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