Rajas con Queso

We have been watching “Chuck and Danny’s Road Trip” on Netflix. Chuck Hughes and Danny Smile are restaurateurs in Montreal Canada. They travel around Canada in a pickup with a fifth-wheel trailer seeking out the best regional foods, befriend the purveyors and invite them to a feast which the chefs prepare using the local ingredients. It is a very pleasant show. Watch it while you are eating otherwise it will make you very hungry.

In one episode they are treated to a Mexican dish called Rajas con Queso. Rajas in Spanish means “strips”. In this case strips of roasted Poblano chilis are cooked along with onion, garlic, Mexican crema, and a Mexican cheese called Panela, which tastes somewhat like feta. We made it last night and it was great. We added some shredded chicken to make it a whole meal and served it on warm corn tortillas. Yum.

Always taste while you cook!

You can substitute sour cream for the Mexican crema and a mozzarella or Monterey Jack if you can’t find the Panela.

We also made a spicy sauce to go with the Rajas:

Heat 3/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat until about shimmering.
Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic to oil until browned. Remove it and set it aside.
Add 1/2 ounce of chili de arbol to oil until slightly blackened (about 30-45 seconds). Watch closely! Remove, set aside.
Remove pan from heat and allow oil to cool until just warm.
Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until thoroughly combined.
Add salt to taste and blend some more.
Once cooled, store in the refrigerator.


Author: Jim Kirkley

Serves: 4

Rajas con Queso


4 poblano peppers
1 large, white onion
3 cloves, garlic
2 tablespoons, olive oil
1 cup, corn kernels
1 teaspoon, Mexican oregano
2 cups, chicken – shredded
3/4 cup, crema (Mexican cream)
3/4 cup, shredded Panela Cheese
16 corn tortillas
Salt to taste


  1. Roast the poblano chilies over a gas flame or on the grill. Place in a bowl and cover tightly. Let them steam for at least 10 minutes. Remove tops and seeds. Slice into strips 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
  2. Cut the onion into 2″ by 1/4″ strips.
  3. Finely chop the garlic.
  4. In a medium hot pan, heat oil and cook the onion until the onion starts to soften, about 4 minutes. Do not brown.
  5. Add the garlic and the chilies and cook for another 4 minutes.
  6. Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the Mexican oregano
  8. Add shredded chicken and cook until chicken is hot.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the cream. Stir to incorporate.
  10. Add the cheese and stir continually until the cheese is just melted.
  11. Check the salt and add salt if needed.
  12. Serve immediately on hot tortillas.


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