Mexican chile en nogada is a very old recipe that is typically made to celebrate Mexico's Independence from Spain. It was nuns in the town or Puebla that came up with this remarkable recipe.
It was to be very special for the General and his men who were to gather for this most important celebration. It was to be made to taste out of the this world and also to resemble the colors of the Mexican flag. The year was 1821.
The walnut sauce was white, the pomegranate seeds red and parsley, green. The chilies are poblanos, roasted, peeled with seeds and veins removed carefully. The chili is stuffed with what is called picadillo. A stuffing made with meat, nuts, fruit and spices. It is then dipped in an egg batter and fried (like you would a regular chili relleno) the egg batter is called capeado in Spanish. Then this is topped with the walnut sauce, trust me you will want to smother it in this sauce. Top with with the garnishes and you have yourself an incredible bite.
I am not going to say this recipe is easy , it is not. It takes time, and lots of ingredients. It is worth the effort? People will think you should open a gourmet restaurant after the first bite. Really you should make it!
Mexican Chile En Nogada (Stuffed Chile with Walnut Sauce)
- 12 large poblanos
- For the filling:
- 2 Tablespoons lard
- 1 medium onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 12 oz pork loin minced
- 12 oz beef roast minced
- 2 to matoes charred on a comal, liquified in a blender and strained
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 peach peeled , cored and chopped finely (make sure it is not too ripe)
- 1 apple (fuji or honeycrisp) peeled, cored and chopped finely
- 1 pear peeled, cored and chopped finely
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup candied pineapple or cactus chopped finely
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- For the Egg batter
- 6 eggs separated
- flour to coat the stuffed poblanos
- vegetable oil for frying
- For the sauce
- 4 cups whole peeled walnuts soaked in water to keep from turning brown
- 3.5 oz goat cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- For the Garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- Prepare the walnut sauce:
- Depending on how good your blender is you may want to do this in two batches as the walnuts tend to be hard on the machine.
- Place 2 cups of walnuts in the blender with half the goat cheese and 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of sherry and sugar. Blend until you get a sauce consistency. You may have to add more milk, you just don't want the sauce to thin so add a little at a time. Remove sauce and repeat with other 1/2 of ingredients. Mix all together in a bowl and taste for sweetness. Add more sugar if desired.
- Prepare the stuffing:
- This can be done a day or two ahead
- Melt the lard in a skillet over medium heat
- Add the onion and cook until translucent about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and stir so it doesn't burn about 30 seconds
- Add in the chopped meat and cook until the meat changes color
- Pour in the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
- Add in the raisins, fruit, spices, nuts, candied cactus or pineapple and spices.
- Add in a little salt to taste and bring to a boil.
- Cover and Simmer for at least 30 minutes but longer is fine. (some braise this mixture for a few hours)
- Remove from heat and set aside or store in refrigerator if made ahead. Be sure to heat up the stuffing if you made it ahead before you stuff the chilies.
- Preparing the chilies
- Char the poblano peppers on an open flame, or comal until blackened.
- Put the chilies in a plastic bag like you put produce in from the grocery store and tie a knot in it. This lets the chilies steam until cooled and makes removing the skin a cinch.
- Remove the chilies and skin do not rinse under water and if every bit of skin doesn't come off, don't worry about it.
- Cut an incision in the chile leaving space both at the top and bottom so the filling won't fall out. Carefully remove the seeds, Repeat for all chilies.
- Now it is time to stuff the chilies. Fill each poblano with the stuffing until they are nice and plump but not overstuffed. use a plate with flour on it and cover the poblano with flour on all sides and set aside. Repeat for all the chilies.
- Heat about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a skillet to medium high heat. While the oil is heating up you can make the egg batter.
- In a bowl, beat the egg whites until very stiff, right before you are ready to fry the chilies add in the yolks and beat quickly.
- Grab a stuffed chili, dip it in the egg batter for a nice thick coat and gently fry in the oil.
- When it turns golden brown flip it over with a spatula and cook the other side.
- Remove the chile and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil and repeat until all the chilies are cooked.
- Ladle the walnut sauce over the top and garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.
- Savor your creation, simply awesome!