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Quesadillas with Roasted Poblanos & Onions (Rajas)

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Serves four as a main course, six to eight as an appetizer.

  • 2 small fresh poblano chiles
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Roast the peppers:

Turn a gas burner to high and char the poblanos directly over the flame, turning them with tongs as soon as each side becomes fully blackened, about 6 to 8 minutes per pepper. (If you don't have a gas stove, you can char poblanos similarly over a hot grill fire or lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet and char them under a hot broiler, turning them with tongs).

Immediately after roasting, put the poblanos in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skins. When they're cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off with your hands or a small paring knife. Pull out and discard the stems and seed clusters. Slice the peppers into 1/4-inch-wide strips and put them in a small bowl.

 Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 150°F (or its lowest setting).

Make the rajas:

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano strips, season with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are heated through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.

Make the quesadillas:

Heat 1/2 tsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add one tortilla and scatter over it a quarter of the cheese, a quarter of the poblano mixture, and a quarter of the cilantro. When the tortilla smells toasty and the bottom is browned in spots, in 1 or 2 minutes, fold it in half, pressing it with a spatula to flatten it. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make three more quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with the sour cream on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 10; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Carbohydrates (g): 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 35; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

These were good, I think my tortillas were a bit smaller so I put one on the bottom and one on the top for a half recipe. And ate the whole thing!:) Tasty peppers, haven't had them before.

I have made these several times, and we love them. They are simple to make and have a ton of flavor. They have just enough spice for those of us who like spicy, but they may be just a tad spicy for some. Poblanos have such a wonderful flavor. These are so easy to make. You can come home on a Friday night and throw them together in no time. We normally have all of the ingredients (exept perhaps for the peppers) on hand. This is a standby recipe for sure. I'm charring the peppers in my oven as I write.

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