Chiles en Nogada

Inspiration: I have been fascinated by this dish for a long time. I’m not sure what it is – the long list of sweet and savory ingredients that are right up my alley; my love of Mexican foods and flavors; the beautiful colors and presentations of the finished meal. I don’t know, but I’ve been wanting to try it for years. A recent Sunday night turned out to be just the right time, because after all, Sundays were made for nothing but good family time, good books, and good meals, weren’t they? 

What we Loved: Every last thing? This dish was just so spectacular that I don’t even know where to start. I think my favorite thing was that the flavors of the recipe were so rich and complex, with each component providing a different layer to the final dish. Really, I don’t think that I’ve ever tasted a recipe with so many wonderful layers of sweet and savory components all tied together. The filling started with the rich and savory flavors of pork, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, and these were then paired so beauitfully with sweet apples, raisins, dried apricots, pecans, and cinnamon. I liked all of the different textures in there (from the crumbly pork to the soft and chewy apricots to the crunchy pecans), and it smelled so wonderful cooking! Stuffed into spicy poblano peppers, topped with a rich and creamy walnut sauce spiced with cinnamon, and finished off with fresh cilantro and delicious bursts of tart, juicy, pomegranate….well, I really don’t even know what to say. We loved every last bite. I would list this as one of the top recipes that we’ve ever made.

Helpful Hints: Serve this dish at room temperature. I was hesitant to do so after reading the instructions, but it really is ideal. I tried some of mine heated up just to see what it would taste like, and the dish really just wasn’t as good warm as it was served at room temperature. Everything seemed to sort of meld together too much when it was warm, and I really couldn’t taste all of the different wonderful and rich flavor components (especially within the sauce). So my advice is too keep it room temperature.

Chiles en Nogada
Source: Homesick Texan

For the Chiles
4 poblano chiles
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 Roma tomato, cored and chopped
1 Granny Smith green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Walnut Sauce
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup milk

For Serving
Pomegranate seeds
Chopped cilantro

1. Roast the poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened. Place the chiles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add the ground pork to a saute pan. Saute until the meat is cooked through and starting to brown. Add the onions, and cook until the onions are softened. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and allspice. Add the chopped tomato, apple, raisins, dried apricots, and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. To make the sauce, place the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove the walnuts, allow them to cool, and then rub them to peel off as much skin as you can. Place the walnuts in a food processor with the sour cream, cream cheese, milk, cinnamon, and salt. Process until smooth.

4. Peel the skin from the chiles. Cut a slit in each chile, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Stuff each chile with one fourth of the pork filling.

5. Top the stuffed chiles with the walnut sauce. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.


9 thoughts on “Chiles en Nogada

  1. Chiles en nogada *is* a great dish, isn’t it?! My fiancée and I made Homesick Texan’s recipe last month for our pre-Christmas supper before heading home to see our families in WI. We used ground turkey in lieu of the pork, but everything else was kept traditional. Such a beautiful dish as well, though yours definitely photographed better than mine! Really need to invest in some props and lighting — kitchen lights are terrible!

    Cheers and happy New Year,


  2. This is a traditional dish of Puebla, Mexico, where just about everyone has a family recipe for it, though they all run along the same lines of sweet and savory filling, roasted poblanos and the lovely, milky walnut sauce. I have been lucky to have had it made and served by a good friend and Puebla (Thuacan) native. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes and a totally different kind of Mexican fare. Glad you loved it, too!

  3. Pingback: Chiles En Nogada: My New Culinary Best Friend. | thethrillofthechaise

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