Mexico - Chiles en Nogada
Hands down one of the more technical dishes I’ve made for this blog. But it’s hands down also one of the tastiest. The Mexican crema was so good drizzled over the poblano pepper and I’d absolutely 100% make this again.
I love how the colors of this dish are meant to represent the Mexican flag, poblano and parsley for green, pomegranate seeds for red, and the crema for white. If you are needing an Insta-worthy food porn photo, this is it!
6 large poblano chiles
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Parsley, chopped for garnish
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium zucchini squash, finely diced
3 roma tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup peas
8 oz candied or dried fruit, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/4 cup Mexican cream (recipe below in the notes)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
In a pan over medium-high heat, add the ground pork and beef and cover with water. Make sure to break all the clumps of the meat and simmer until the meat is cooked through. Reserve the liquid and remove the meat from the pan.
Prepare the tomato base by add the tomatoes to a blender with 1/2 cup of the meat cooking liquid. Blend until smooth.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat with 3 tbsp of oil. Add all of the chopped onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the potatoes to the skillet, stir, and cook for 5 minutes. They don’t have to be completely cooked at this step.
Add the ground beef-pork mixture and stir until well combined. Pour the pureed tomato into the skillet over the ingredients. Now add the carrots, zucchini, and raisins and cook for 5 minutes, keeping the heat on medium-high until the tomato mixture starts to reduce.
Add the peas, candied fruit and almonds and stir well. Lower the heat to medium and cover, cooking for about 15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. The liquid should be mostly reduced. IF the filling is starting to get too dry in the pan, you can add a few tablespoons of the meat liquid.
The next step involves roasting the poblanos. It was easy when I lived in an apartment with a gas range, so I just roasted over the open flame until it started to blister.
To roast in the oven, preheat the oven to 425F. Rub the poblanos with oil and place on a baking sheet for about 30-45 minutes. Turn about halfway. When done (for both roasting methods), place in a bowl and cover with a plastic bag or wrap and let steam for 15 minutes. Rub off the skins and cut a slit down the middle to make a pocket. Remove the seeds.
If you can’t find authentic Mexican crema, you can make your own, but make sure to make this a day in advance because it will need time to thicken. Warm 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream to room temperature in a saucepan. Add 2 tbsp of buttermilk to the heavy cream and combine. Add this mixture to a jar and lightly cover the jar and place it on the counter overnight (12-24 hours).
In the morning, fasten the lid, place in the fridge and let thicken until you are ready to use it. Add the juice of half a lime and season with salt.
Place the cream, walnuts, and cinnamon in a blender and let it run until completely smooth.
Fill each poblano with enough filling so that it will just close. Use toothpicks if you want, but I just placed the poblano slit side on the plate. Spoon the crema over the stuffed chile until it’s completely covered. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley.
Recipe adapted from Mexican Food Journal and Mexican Please.