Chiles en Nogada

This dish was one of the culinary highlights of our popular Bistro Dinner entitled “Like Water for Chocolateat which we created some of the dishes found in the book by the same name. We love to expose our students to dishes that have unusual ingredients and combinations in order to expand their culinary horizons. This definitely falls within that category.

Sauce

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 ounces panela or farmers cheese, diced
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar or to taste

Chiles

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds coarsely ground beef
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 2 ½ pounds tomatoes with skins, seeded and chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 (3-inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 plantain or under-ripe banana, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 firm peach, skinned, pitted and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds, slivered
  • 1 large sprig parsley
  • 12 poblano chiles, roasted, deveined and peeled
  • Flat leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Seeds of 1 large pomegranate, for garnish

For the Sauce

In a blender of food processor combine all ingredients. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

For the Chiles

In a sauté pan heat vegetable oil. Add onions and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add beef and salt and brown. Remove the beef: drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, cloves, plantain, peach, cranberries, almonds and parsley. Cook over medium heat for 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove the cinnamon stick and parsley sprig. Make a slice down the length of each chile and stuff with beef mixture. Place on serving plate. Pour sauce over the chiles, avoiding the bases and stems if possible. Garnish with the parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

See how to cut a pomegranate (click here). Be careful, pomegranate juice can stain everything.

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