Chiles en Nogada – Special stuffed chilies in a Sour Cream Walnut Sauce
First things first, my picture is fairly crappy, I was serving it as a starter and was in a rush to get the food out, eat it and get to the bbq grill again while it was hot enough to cook the carne asada for the mains. My idea was I wanted to get the pepper exactly half covered in sauce, I probably could have done this by dipping it, but it was pretty much impossible to do on such a knobbly surface by pouring like I attempted. That’s my lesson learned for next time, either half dip it or completely cover the whole pepper in sauce and use some Parsley to add the much needed green, why is green needed? Well…
… This is meant to be a nationalistic Mexican dish, it gets eaten around this time of year when Pomegranates come into season and more importantly, when Mexico celebrates it’s independence, September 16th. The green of the pepper, white of the Walnut Sauce and red of the Pomegranate form the colours of their flag in a similar fashion to other patriotic foods like Salsa Bandera (Flag Salsa). Enough rambling for now, here’s the recipe:
– Recipe –
Feeds 3 as a starter
– The stuffing (Picadillo) –
3 Poblano Chilli Peppers (you could substitute with Bell or Sweet Peppers if you are desperate) // 300g Ground Beef (or a Beef and Pork mix) // 2 Bay Leaves // 1 diced clove of Garlic //3/4 of a large Onion, diced // Parsley // 1 seeded Tomato, diced // a mix of Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts, Pine Nuts // Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Apple, Apricot, Pineapple
– The Sauce/Garnish –
400ml Sour Cream // a large handful of Walnuts // a pinch of Black Pepper // a pinch of Cinnamon // arils (the fleshy fruit) from half a Pomegranate // extra Parsley to garnish
- Start off by cooking the Peppers over a flame, turning regularly, until the skins are wrinkled and blackened.
- Place the Peppers into a plastic bag and seal it, let them sit for 10 minutes and then peel all of the skin off, leaving the dark green flesh .
- Slice them down one side and then de-seed and de-vein then through the hole, try to be neat, but don’t worry too much if you rip them a little. Put to one side
- Begin to fry the Ground Meat in a little Oil, mix in the Bay, Garlic and Onion.
- Then when the Meat is close to being cooked through start mixing in the Tomatoes, Parsley, Nuts and Fruits, incorporate it so it is roughly half Meat and half the rest.
- Blend the Sour Cream, Cinnamon, Pepper and Walnuts into a very smooth paste and then simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Stuff the Peppers with the meat mixture, dip in/pour on the Sauce and then garnish with Pomegranate and some Parsley Sprigs, serve hot.