Hola. Is Tia Lencha here. Today I give you the recipe for Rajas con Crema. This was inspire by a trip to the store that sells Mexican things like dancing papier mâché skeletons, Frida Kahlo key chains, overpriced things for the wall. You know, is like Mexican Disneyland. I went in looking for a rebozo to give as a present for my comadre’s birthday.
I find the skinny hipster girl behind the cash register and I say, “Do you have any rebozos?”
“What’s that?” she say.
Anyone who knows Tia Lencha knows that she wanted to give the hipster girl a coco in la cabeza. “What do you mean what’s that? Is…a shawl…like you call it in English.”
“Oh. No,” she say.
“We don’t have those here,” she say. And she turn around like we were finish.
“Isn’t this a Mexican store?” I ask .
“Um, you could speak to the manager if you want.”
“No, no. I just want a pretty shawl for my comadre,” I say.
“You’re looking for a present?” she say, picking up a necklace that cost $86.
“Is okay,” I say.
“Are you from Mexico?” the hipster ask.
“Me? A course.”
“I love Mexican food,” she say.
“Oh jes? What Mexicans foods do you like?” I ask her.
“I love chimichangas and margs.”
“Oh.” I turn around to leave.
“I’m going to a barbeque later. It’s for vegans. Is there any vegan Mexican food?”
I think of all the poor little pochos and gringos that don’t know nothing about Mexican food. “A course,” I say. “You can make rajas con crema.”
“Rajas con what?”
“Crema. Sour cream, but the kind the vegans eat. The fake crema. You say they don’t eat real crema right?”
She nod her head but still look confused. “I have to make something to bring,” she say.
“OK so you know poblano peppers?”
She look blank but she say, “Yes.”
“You rinse them and you roast them…”
“I don’t have a grill!” she almos scream.
“No, you but them on the stove.”
“Oh. In the broiler?”
“No. Right on the burner.”
“You mean the broiler?”
“No. On the burner where there is the flame.”
“Oh, so the broiler.”
We stare at each other. I make the gesture like I’m turning on the flame on the stove.
“You put them on the flame and you let them get burn all around,” I start to talk before she interupt me again. “Then when they have char on all sides, you put them in a plastic bag to sweat. Then you can peel the burn part off. You take the seeds and veins out and slice them into strips, put some salt and add the vegan crema and you are done.”
She look at me.
“Um, yeah. I don’t know how to do that.”
“How to do what?”
“I don’t want to use the stove.”
“Don’t want or don’t know how?”
We stare at each other.
“You don’t think you will get any rebozos?”
“Adios,” I say, and I walk out of that fake Mexican store, knowing she will maybe take a bag of chips and a jar of salsa to her parry.
Tia Lencha is a bloguera we’ll have you know.
- For more POCHO recipes — including Tia Lencha — click here.
Pepper photo courtesy Tom Harpel