Chiles en Nogada Chiles in Walnut Sauce
Chiles en Nogada is a chili stuffed with minced meat and fruits, served with nogada sauce and decorated with pomegranate. It is a Mexican signature dish for the state of Publa and is typically served around Independence Day both August and September. The recipe was developed by the Spanish nuns, in Publa. It was a dish that was part of a feast prepared to celebrate both the recent Independence of Mexico in August 1821. This dish is said to represent the Three Guarantees (religion, union, independence). The Mexican flag each was identified with these colors too (green, represents independence, white represents religion, and red (represents union).
For more information regarding cooking with chilies please read- A Basic Guide for Cooking with Fresh and Dried Chile Peppers
Chiles en Nogada Chiles in Walnut sauce
- 12 poblano chiles
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 cup walnuts halves
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup almonds blanched
- 1 cup crema or sour cream
- 2 oz panela or farmers cheese
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pound pork loin
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 1 1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup Oil
- 3/4 cup onion minced
- 21/2 pounds tomatoes peeled ac chopped
- 4 Tbsp parsley minced
- 1 apple peeled and minced
- 1 pear peeled and minced
- 1 peach peeled and minced
- 1 plaintain or bannana, peeled and minced
- 1/3 cup raisins *optional plus 1/4 cup pine nut
- 1/3 cup almonds chopped
- parsley leaves and springs
- 1 pomegranate seeds only
Place the walnuts in a bowl with boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rub off the loose skin. Pace the walnuts in a small bowl cover with 1 cup milk and let soak for 12 hours. This will make them softer and more flavorful.
Drain the walnuts discarding the milk, reserve 1/2 cup for pureeing the nuts. Transfer to a blender and puree with remaining sauce ingredients. Refrigerate.
Place pork, water, onion quarter, 3 garlic cloves and first parsley plus 1/2 of the salt, in a large sauce pan. When the water comes to a coil, reduce heat, cover the pan and cook 40 to 60 minutes or until the meat is tender. Skim off any foam from the surface. Drain, reserve 1/2 cup the liquid. Let the meat cool then chop finely, set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan and add the chopped onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes or until transparent. Add the tomatoes and parsley cook 5 minutes stirring constantly. Mix in the remaining salt. Add the fruit and remaining ingredients. Cook 4 more minutes. Add the pork and reserved stock. Correct the seasonings and cook uncovered over low heat for 7 to 10 minutes.or until the mixture has thickened. Set aside.
Roast Chilies then peel. Make a slit in each one, being careful not to break it, remove seeds and membranes. Soak chiles in salt and vinegar 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how hot the are, if you are worried about the "heat" of the chili,
Rinse the chilies, drain well and pat dry. Use a spoon to place the meat filling in each chile, being careful not to overfill set aside,
The chiles can be served warm or room temperature. Arrange them on a platter, cover with the nut sauce and sprinkle with the pomegranates seeds. Garnish with parsley.
There are many variations to this recipe. Some use ground pork, some both pork and beef. Many people serve in the an egg batter and others leave them without batter. The sauce can be prepared with goat cheese, it gives a creamy and delicate touch.
*Using fresh walnuts really does this enhances the flavor of the walnut sauce. Soaking the nuts in the milk re-hydrates them. The older the nut is the longer you soak them.
You can also make a casserole version by baking the filling on top of layers of chili strips and covering with additional strips. Bake when top with the sauce and pomegranates,