Every year around this time, it is a mad dash to the market in search of pomegranates! And of course I can never find them, ever! Good thing that I have some pictures filed away from previous times I have prepared chiles en nogada. Chiles en Nogada is a roasted and stuffed poblano, typically pork, that is covered in a walnut sauce. The very distinct garnish of pomegranate and parsley are meant to represent the colors of the Mexican flag. The origins date back to 1821 and was originally prepared by nuns in a convent in Puebla, Mexico. It is a very celebrated dish for the month of September, specifically, the week of September 16th. This is the day Mexico celebrates it’s Independence Day. I will never forget how my Mom would tell us the story every year and how she would make us go outside and yell, as loud as we could, Viva Mexico! Ha, ha, ha! I still do it, just quietly, and get all chocked up in the meantime. And as soon as I find the pomegranate, you know I will be preparing this dish!!! #foodieforlife #mexicanfood #vivamexico
Chiles en Nogada
- 6 large chiles poblanos roasted(see directions below)
- 1 plantain platano macho
- *the plantain should be yellow with a little hint of green but not black.
- Grapeseed oil
- 1 pound ground pork chopped pork is used traditionally
- 1/4 pound Mexican chorizo optional and not traditional
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon pinch of ground clove and pinch of pepper...
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pear diced
- 1 small apple diced(fuji or granny smith)
- 1 peach diced
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 2 roma tomatoes previously roasted, blended and strained
- Tips~Other fruits and nuts that are traditionally added are candied acitron blanched almonds and pine nuts
For Nogada Sauce
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 ounces crumbled queso fresco or cream cheese using this instead of the traditional goat cheese
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema
- Pinch of ground Mexican cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- *Traditionally raw walnuts that have been soaked in milk is what is used for the nogada sauce
You will also need
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup parsley chopped
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Cut the ends off of the plantain, then cut in half, horizontally. Place in boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from water and let cool.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the ground pork and chorizo. Season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until browned and seared.
- To the ground meat, add all of the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking mostly covered.
- While the filling is cooking, peel the skins off of the plantains and diced finely. Fry the plantains in a little preheated olive oil until golden and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer plantains to ground meat mixture. Stir well to combine and cook for another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
- While the filling is cooling prepare nogada sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth, taste for salt and sugar, cover and set aside.
- Remove the blistered skins from poblano peppers. Make a slit just below base of pepper about 1/2 inch from the bottom of pepper. Using your fingers, gently remove the seeds, as many as you can from the inside of peppers. Fill each pepper, gently pushing with your fingers to fill each space. Do not over fill. Transfer to a baking dish and keep warm in low temperature oven. To serve add one pepper to a plate. Ladle with walnut sauce. Garnish with pomegranates and parsley.
I used ground pork, but it is more traditional to chop the pork butt/shoulder very small.
This recipe is for chiles en nogada without the egg batter, but you can find the link below for the full recipe on how to prepare the batter if you prefer them that way. In Puebla, it is taditional to coat the chiles with the egg batter. The sauce below had about 1/3 cup of softened cream cheese in it. The sauce above had no cheese. You can see the difference.
Roasting Poblanos: Choose your method of roasting the poblanos. A quick method: Set the top rack in oven about 8 to 10 inches from top broiler. Preheat oven to broil on high. Place the poblanos on baking sheet and broil for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Make sure most of the skins blister. You may have to rotate your peppers, all ovens vary. Remove peppers from oven and transfer to a plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let them cool. Peel blistered skins and carefully clean out the seeds.
Click onto picture above to see full recipe on how to prepare egg battered covered rellenos.
In the past I have added some bolillo bread in the sauce as a thickener. It was delicious as well. Chef’s choice!
The recipe for the picadillo is good enough to fill 6 large poblanos.