Chiles en Nogada
Inspiration: I have been fascinated by this dish for a long time. I’m not sure what it is – the long list of sweet and savory ingredients that are right up my alley; my love of Mexican foods and flavors; the beautiful colors and presentations of the finished meal. I don’t know, but I’ve been wanting to try it for years. A recent Sunday night turned out to be just the right time, because after all, Sundays were made for nothing but good family time, good books, and good meals, weren’t they?
What we Loved: Every last thing? This dish was just so spectacular that I don’t even know where to start. I think my favorite thing was that the flavors of the recipe were so rich and complex, with each component providing a different layer to the final dish. Really, I don’t think that I’ve ever tasted a recipe with so many wonderful layers of sweet and savory components all tied together. The filling started with the rich and savory flavors of pork, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, and these were then paired so beauitfully with sweet apples, raisins, dried apricots, pecans, and cinnamon. I liked all of the different textures in there (from the crumbly pork to the soft and chewy apricots to the crunchy pecans), and it smelled so wonderful cooking! Stuffed into spicy poblano peppers, topped with a rich and creamy walnut sauce spiced with cinnamon, and finished off with fresh cilantro and delicious bursts of tart, juicy, pomegranate….well, I really don’t even know what to say. We loved every last bite. I would list this as one of the top recipes that we’ve ever made.
Helpful Hints: Serve this dish at room temperature. I was hesitant to do so after reading the instructions, but it really is ideal. I tried some of mine heated up just to see what it would taste like, and the dish really just wasn’t as good warm as it was served at room temperature. Everything seemed to sort of meld together too much when it was warm, and I really couldn’t taste all of the different wonderful and rich flavor components (especially within the sauce). So my advice is too keep it room temperature.
Chiles en Nogada
Source: Homesick Texan
For the Chiles
4 poblano chiles
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 Roma tomato, cored and chopped
1 Granny Smith green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
For the Walnut Sauce
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup milk
1. Roast the poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened. Place the chiles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add the ground pork to a saute pan. Saute until the meat is cooked through and starting to brown. Add the onions, and cook until the onions are softened. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and allspice. Add the chopped tomato, apple, raisins, dried apricots, and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. To make the sauce, place the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove the walnuts, allow them to cool, and then rub them to peel off as much skin as you can. Place the walnuts in a food processor with the sour cream, cream cheese, milk, cinnamon, and salt. Process until smooth.
4. Peel the skin from the chiles. Cut a slit in each chile, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Stuff each chile with one fourth of the pork filling.
5. Top the stuffed chiles with the walnut sauce. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.