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Oh, yum! That made me lick the screen.

If I weren't so shy, I'd love to participate......   Ha! Sounds great. Rajas are a fine idea as they also help with the whole charring issue. And rajas with cotija cheese on a hot fresh tortilla is

i have a funny story about rajas. there's a small mexican grocery nearby us (we live in astoria, queens) and on weekends they have very good tamales. the best kind they've got is rajas con queso. l

They're excellent with carne asada, with roast chicken, with pork. I often prepare carne de puerco con chile verde (pork stewed in green chile) to be served with Mexican rice, well-fried beans with queso cotija, and these rajas.

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We've had too much meat in the past week or so; I'm going to make these to accompany some fish.

 

I often make roasted bell peppers using the same technique, then packing them in olive oil and garlic. I keep them in the refrigerator. But I digress.

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According to the

Special Cheese website:

 

Crema Mexicana

      The most popular Hispanic cream. This product is thick, rich, fresh cream. It has the thickness of Devonshire Cream or Creme Fraiche and has the sweet taste of heavy whipping cream. It is used as a dessert topping either directly out of the package or whipped. In fact, many chefs specify our Crema Mexicana for their whipped toppings because it will hold its whip for four days, not the four hours one can expect from whipping common heavy cream. Crema Mexicana is also used as an ingredient to thicken sauces and to give entrees a thicker, richer taste. For a delicious addition to your pasta sauces try mixing one part Crema Mexicana to three parts pasta sauce. You'll love the result. Especially with tomato based pasta sauces: creamier and richer than any pasta sauce you've tried before!

 

In US supermarkets, it's usually sold in a glass jar, often displayed next to the Mexican cheeses. Some of the best-known Mexican cheese brands also manufacture crema.

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In Manhattan, Ampelman recommended a Mexican grocerycalled La Loma del Tepeyac (1621 Lexington @ 102nd St., tel. 212-987-8364). He said they carry all sorts of Mexican vegetables including fresh nopales and epazote, mole poblano, quesos mexicanos, etc.

 

I've been planning to check it out...

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