Rajas is a Spanish term which literally translates to “strips” or “slices”. But for lovers of Mexican cuisine, Rajas con Queso usually refers to roasted poblano chile strips cooked with onions and cream (often sour cream) and white cheese (often jack or asadero cheese). It can be served as tacos, quesadillas or simply in a bowl if you want a low carb dish.
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Rajas as a Low Carb Option
Rajas can make a wonderful side dish, a vegetarian main dish or a filling for tacos. And to top it all off, rajas are keto and low carb (without the tortillas of course)!
Speaking of low carb tortillas, I found a convenient one that is pretty good at Target. It is called La Banderita Carb Counter wraps. Check out my post for a detailed description of the various low carb tortillas (store bought and home made).
Is Rajas con Queso a Spicy Dish?
Rajas depend primarily on poblano chiles, which have a rich distinctive flavor. On a scale of 1 to 10, these chiles are a considered around a 4 in terms of heat. That can vary, of course, depending on where and how they are grown.
The heat of chile peppers increases when they are grown under stress (i.e., hot dry conditions), so the microclimate will determine the exact heat index.
In the grocery store, look for glossy, dark green Poblano peppers (they are often mis-labeled as Pasilla peppers).
How to Roast & Skin the Poblanos
- Preheat the broiler in your oven to 450 degrees. Alternately, you can roast over an open flame on a gas burner.
- Place your poblano peppers on the heat source. For the oven, place them on a sheet pan then directly under the broiler. Allow the peppers to roast about five minutes and then turn to char the other side. The skin will blister and darken and you may hear some popping sounds. If using an open flame, use tongs to hold the pepper over the flame, turning to get it charred on all sides.
- Remove the pepper from the heat source. Place the peppers in a zip-top bag or bowl with a lid. Allow the peppers to cool about 10 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. The steam collects and helps release the skin from the pepper making them easier to peel.
- Peel the bubbled skin off of the pepper with your fingers. Sometimes it’s easier to use a paper towel. You will need to experiment here.
- Next, using a sharp knife, cut the pepper open and remove the seeds and discard.
Rajas Filling for Tacos or Quesadillas:
Rajas con queso (Pronounced ra-HAS con KAY-so) is often used to reference using rajas as a taco filling. We had the rajas alone as a side dish one night and followed it the next night by adding them, along with pulled pork and cotija cheeseto a low carb tortilla.
Another classic Mexican dish using poblanos and cream is Rajas con Crema. This version of rajas adds corn and mushrooms and folds the rajas mixture into cheese quesadillas.
If you enjoy all types of Mexican food, check out this category of ALL Mexican recipes, where you will find over 40 Mexican recipes, from casual, to low carb, to fancy.
Low Carb Rajas con Queso
- 10 peppers Poblano peppers roasted, peeled and sliced 2″ x 1/4″
- 1 medium onion coarsley chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1 teaspoon oregano Mexican oregano if available
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup jack cheese shredded
- Roast & peel the peppers (see post for specific techniques). I place them on a sheet pan and put them under the broiler until charred. Turn them over and char the other side.After they are charred, peel off the skins, cut them open and scrape out the seeds. Then lay them out flat (like you would butterfly something) and cut into vertical strips.10 peppers Poblano peppers
- Sauté onion over medium heat in large skillet (I used 2 Tbsp. olive oil to sauté); sauté for 5-7 min or until slightly caramelized or translucent;1 medium onion
- Add pepper strips, garlic, salt and oregano to the onion mix and cook about 4 minutes or until the entire mixture heats up and flavors meld together3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon oregano
- Turn off heat and add the sour cream and cheese and gently mix together.1/2 cup sour cream, 3/4 cup jack cheese
Watch the Step by Step Video for More Details