August 20, 2010
The smell of meat cooking has my cat Hobbsie screaming outside the kitchen door. But I won’t let him in right now… I am making Chiles en Nogada, a signature dish from the state of Puebla. There’s no special occasion, it is just “that time of year”
Chiles en Nogada (Chiles in Walnut Sauce)
The Picadillo (Meat filling)
Saute 1 kilo of ground pork with:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Add salt and pepper to taste
When the meat is cooked, use a molcajete (mortar and pestle) or coffee grinder to pulverize:
5 whole cloves
1/2 inch stick cinnamon
Add the ground spices to the meat mixture with:
2 heaping Tbsp blanched and slivered almonds
2 heaping Tbsp dried citrus fruit peel and salt to taste
Cut in tiny pieces:
1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes,
2 pears, cored, peeled and chopped
2 peaches, pitted, peeled and chopped
Add whole: 100 grams of raisins
Mix everything together
Put 8 chiles poblanos (and you MUST use this type of chili) straight into a fairly high flame or under a broiler and let the skin blister and burn. Turn the chiles from time to time so they do not get overcooked or burn right through. Wrap the chiles in a plastic bag and leave them for about 20 minutes. (they will sweat and the skin will be easier to remove)Make a slit in the side of each chili and carefully remove the seeds and veins. Be careful to leave the top of the chili, the part around the base of the stem, intact. Rinse the chilies and pat them dry.
Stuff the chilies with the picadillo until they are well filled out. Set them aside on paper towels then put them in the fridge to chill (If you wish, they can be refrigerated until the next day)
The Nogada (walnut sauce)
The day before you plan on eating the chilis, soak 2 cups of walnuts overnight in cold milk
On serving day:
Drain and pulverize the nuts, then blend them with:
1 small piece white bread without crust
1/4 lb queso fresco
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
Large pinch of cinnamon
When the sauce is smooth, refrigerate it until it is cold.
Set the chilies on a plate and cover with the walnut sauce. Then, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds.
You can accompany this dish with guacamole, rice and tortillas.
Note: Although the original recipe calls for walnuts, I often substitute pecans. The difference in flavor is there but barely.