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Mexico Inspired Recipes

Recipes Inspired by Mexico
Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada is a dish traditionally served in Mexico to celebrate Independence Day.  It is a special dish because of the seasonal ingredients available at this time of year in Mexico and because this beautiful dish proudly displays the red, green and white of the Mexican flag.  Poblano peppers are smothered in a creamy walnut sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds.  This dish in not for the faint of heart cook!  The preparation is elaborate and is usually done in stages over a couple of days.  Are you up for this Mexican kitchen challenge??

Chilis en Nogada for Mexico Independence Day

 

The walnuts for the nogada sauce must be soaked overnight so be sure to start your preparations the day before you wish to serve this festive dish.

Ingredients:

The Picadillo~ Spiced Pork Filling

  • 2 lbs of boneless pork
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp salt, or to taste
  • 6 Tbsp of lard
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Cooked pork meat (about 3 cups - note if you use more than 3 cups, you will need to increase the amounts of the other ingredients)
  • A molcajete (mortar and pestle)
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 inch stick cinnamon
  • 3 heaping Tbsp of raisins
  • 2 Tbsp blanched and slivered almonds
  • 2 heaping Tbsp acitron or candied fruit, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 pear, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1 peach, pitted, peeled and chopped

Preparation:

Cut the pork meat into large cubes. Put them into the pan with the onion, garlic, and salt and cover with cold water. Bring the meat to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer until just tender - about 40-45 minutes. Do not over cook. Leave the meat to cool off in the broth.

Strain the meat, reserving the broth, then shred or chop it finely and set it aside. Let the broth get completely cold and skim off the fat. Reserve the fat.

Melt the lard and cook the onion and garlic, without browning, until they are soft.

Add the meat and let it cook until it begins to brown.

Crush the spices roughly in the molcajete and add them, with the rest of the ingredients to the meat mixture. (If you don't have a molcajete, you can use the blunt end of a pestle to crush the spices in a bowl.) Cook the mixture a few moments longer.

Add chopped peach and pear to the mixture.

The Chilies:

  • 6 poblano chiles (No Substitutions!  Poblano peppers are the only peppers that work for this dish.)

Put the poblano chiles 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 damp cloth or plastic bag and leave them for about 20 minutes. The burned skin will then flake off very easily and the flesh will become a little more cooked in the steam. 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. (If the chilies are too hot - picante, let them soak in a mild vinegar and water solution for about 30 minutes.) 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.

The Nogada (walnut sauce)
The day before:

  • 20 to 25 fresh walnuts, shelled
  • cold milk

Remove the thin papery skin from the nuts. Completely cover the walnuts with cold milk and leave them to soak overnight.

On serving day:

  • The soaked and drained nuts
  • 1 small piece white bread without crust
  • 1/4 lb queso fresco (a fresh white Mexican cheese that has not been aged)
  • 1 1/2 cups thick sour creme (or creme fraiche)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • Large pinch of cinnamon

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until they are smooth.

To Serve
To assemble the dish, cover the chilies in the nogada sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds.

Author:

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:01 PM by Carlos Martínez

Comments

Riviera Maya Lifestyles Blog said:

Mexico loves to celebrate holidays! No holiday can escape the month (or more) long preparations and two days (or more) fiestas. Independence Day is no different. Gearing up for the 15th and 16th of September usually begins in August with the first vendor

# September 14, 2012 8:01 AM
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