Sweet Potatoes with Raisins and Poblano Chile Rajas

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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2 pounds sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp. butter, melted and divided
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/2 cup California raisins
12 oz. poblano chile peppers
8 oz. yellow onion
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup creme fraiche


To prepare the sweet potatoes:

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into approximately 1/2″ thick rounds. Shingle the sweet potato slices in a baking dish large enough to hold the slices in a single overlapping layer. Brush the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Sprinkle the salt over the potatoes and pre-bake them for 40 minutes at 375F.

To prepare the raisins:

In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, and when the butter starts foaming, add the raisins and lightly saute. Season with a pinch of salt and remove from the heat and reserve.

To prepare the chiles:

Char and peel the poblano chiles, then remove and discard the stems and seeds. Cut the chiles into 1/4″ strips. Peel the onions and cut the onions into 1/4″ slices. Separate each of the onion slices into rings. Combine the poblano chile strips and the onion rings and toss with remaining tablespoon of melted butter.

After the potatoes have roasted for 40 minutes, remove them from the oven and distribute the raisins, chiles and onions over the potatoes. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

To serve:

Wash the cilantro and prepare approximately 1 loose cup of the small cilantro sprigs. When ready to serve, distribute the cilantro sprigs over the top of the warm dish and drizzle the creme fraiche over the surface of the dish and serve immediately.

Recipe by Chef Robert Del Grande on www.calraisins.org.