PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE

April 30, 2011 11:30 AM
White Rice and Poblano Rajas Casserole
WHITE RICE AND POBLANO RAJAS CASSEROLE
Cazuela de Arroz con Rajas de Chile Poblano
Serves 10

INGREDIENTS
4 cups cooked white rice
2 tbsp butter and a bit more to butter the baking dish
1 cup white onion, slivered
3 poblano chiles, about 3/4 lb, charred, skinned, stemmed, seeded, and sliced. Click here for more information on how to prepare them
1 1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup corn kernels, fresh, thawed from frozen or canned and drained
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
1/2 cup Mexican style cream, or Latin, Salvadorean, creme fraiche or heavy cream
1/2 cup queso fresco, can substitute with farmers, basket or ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup Monterey jack, light cheddar or mozzarella, shredded

TO PREPARE
Place the butter in a saute pan set over medium heat.  Once it melts, add the slivered onion and allow it to sweat for about 12 minutes, until translucent and soft.  Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chile poblano rajas or strips, corn, salt and black pepper and cook for about 3 more minutes.  Add the cream and queso fresco and continue cooking, stirring from time to time, until the sauce thickens a bit and seasons, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 8 x11 or 9 x 9 baking dish.  Layer the white rice in the baking dish and press it down gently with a spatula.  Pour the poblano mixture on top.  For the last layer, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Bake the casserole in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.  Serve hot.