Making traditional Mexican dish Chiles en Nogada


Chiles en nogada is a traditional Mexican dish that is often served during the country's Independence Day celebrations. It consists of roasted poblano chiles stuffed with a mixture of ground meat, fruits, and nuts, and topped with a creamy walnut sauce. The dish is garnished with pomegranate seeds and parsley, representing the colors of the Mexican flag. Here's a breakdown of the ingredients and the cooking process for Chiles en nogada:

Ingredients:
For the filling:
- 6 large poblano chiles
- 1 pound (450g) ground pork or beef
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped apple
- 1/4 cup chopped pear
- 1/4 cup chopped peaches or pineapple
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped candied cactus (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste

For the walnut sauce:
- 1 cup walnuts, soaked in water overnight
- 1/2 cup milk or cream
- 1/4 cup queso fresco or cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt, to taste

For garnish:
- Pomegranate seeds
- Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the poblano chiles on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven until the skins blister and char, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chiles from the oven and place them in a plastic bag or covered bowl to steam for about 15 minutes. This will help loosen the skins for easy removal.
2. While the chiles are steaming, prepare the filling. In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become translucent.
3. Add the ground meat to the skillet and cook until it is browned and cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, ground cinnamon, and dried thyme.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes, apple, pear, peaches or pineapple, raisins, chopped almonds or walnuts, and candied cactus (if using) to the skillet. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Cook for a few more minutes until the flavors meld together. Remove the skillet from the heat and set the filling aside.
5. Carefully peel the skins off the roasted poblano chiles. Make a vertical slit on each chile and carefully remove the seeds and membranes, taking care not to tear the chiles.
6. Stuff each poblano chile with the prepared filling, gently pressing the mixture into the chile to ensure it is well-packed.
7. For the walnut sauce, drain the soaked walnuts and place them in a blender or food processor. Add the milk or cream, queso fresco or cream cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
8. Pour the walnut sauce over the stuffed chiles, covering them generously.
9. Garnish the Chiles en nogada with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley, representing the colors of the Mexican flag.
10. Serve the Chiles en nogada at room temperature or chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Note: Chiles en nogada is typically served as a main course,

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