Chile Strips with Cheese: Rajas con Queso

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

This dish uses the famous quesillo – Oaxaca cheese that melts easily. However, for this recipe, it should be grated rather than pulled apart into strings. It is delicious served alone with flour tortillas, or as a late supper or light lunch with a salad.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into thin crescents
  • 8-10 chilaca chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into strips (see NOTE)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 lb. Oaxaca cheese, grated
  • salt to taste


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook until transparent.

Add the chile strips tomatoes and tomatoes and cook for two more minutes.

Add the crema and evaporated milk, bring to a slow boil and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the grated cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.

Serve immediately, in clay cazuelas if possible, with warm flour tortillas.

Serves 6

NOTE: Chilacas are the fresh version of dried pasilla chiles. Poblanos may be substituted.

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Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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