I think just a few recipes in Mexico could describe the richness in traditions, flavours and ingenious of our Mexican gastronomy and Chiles en Nogada is one of those dishes; full of history, tradition, flavour and beauty making them one of the most popular Mexican dishes and everybody’s favourite.
The story of the creation of Chiles en Nogada goes back to August 1821 when the sister of Santa Monica Convent in Puebla wanted to welcome Agustin de Iturbide with a very special meal after he just had signed the Declaration of Independence and he was passing by through Puebla. They collected some of the ingredients that were in season during the month of August and they came out with this recipe. The colours of the ingredients on it are related to the colours of the Mexican flag, the Poblano pepper is the green colour, the Nogada sauce is the white and the pomegranate seeds are the red, making it the most patriotic dish to celebrate Mexican independence. In the original recipe the poblano pepper is covered with a mixture id stiff peak egg and then fry in oil before putting the nogada sauce.
Well, now after telling you some of the very interesting history of this wonderful recipe, let me tell you some facts of the traditional way to cook it. Historically and traditionally this recipe is always cooked with Poblano pepper, these ones are roasted, peeled, stuffed with a special filling and battered in eggs beated until stiff, fried and covered with the Nogada sauce, but my version is more simple and I have changed it slightly for busy people like me, I do know I shouldn’t be doing this as it is a very important recipe for all Mexicans but as a busy mum of two, sometimes one has to do what we have to do in order to fulfil our cravings, but one thing I want you to have in mind, I DO know how to make the traditional Chile en Nogada and when I do have plenty of time to be in my kitchen by myself without being interrupted by a three year old asking me to play with him every five minutes, I cook the real and traditional recipe, but today I’m afraid I wasn’t that lucky because my husband arrived very late from work, so this time I had to used tin Poblano peppers.
Anyway, I do hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Remember to tell me if you like the recipe by leaving a comment below. Your comments are very important for me.
Chiles en Nogada
- 7 fresh poblano peppers the bigger the better
- 250 g mince pork 5% fat
- 250 g mince beef 15% fat
- 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 small white onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp pinenuts chopped
- 6 blanched almonds chopped
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- ¼ fresh perfectly ripe pear finely diced
- 4 dried pitted prunes finely diced
- ½ plantain platano macho, finely diced and fried
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 250 g soft goat cheese
- 1 cup double cream
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
To Prepare the Poblanos
- Charr the poblano peppers on the burners of the hob. Turn them around so all the skin gets blacken.
- Once the skin gets blacken, wrap the peppers in a kitchen tea towel and put them inside a plastic bag. Leave them to rest for 15 min, then take them out and peel the black skin off, making sure to keep the shape of the pepper intacted.
- Then carefully make an incision from top to bottom of the pepper and take the seeds out, leaving the stem on, making sure to keep the pepper shape, then leave aside. They are ready to be stuffed.
To make the filling
- While the peppers are resting, start by preparing the filling. Heat a saucepan to medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and garlic, cook for 3 min, mixing continuously, then add the minced meats and mix very well, cook for 10 min. Making sure the meat is in small pieces.
- Then add the chopped tomato and fry for 5 more minutes.
- After some time cooking the meat with the tomatoes, onion and garlic, start adding the rest of the ingredients: cinnamon, oregano, thyme, salt, the pinenuts, raisins, chopped almonds, cook for 10 min, then add the pear, the prunes and parsley and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Put the lid on and lower the heat. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside.
To make the Nogada Sauce
- Put all the ingredients for the Nogada sauce: goats cheese, double cream, milk, salt, walnuts into a blender and blend until getting a smooth consistency.
- I find it easier to use the hand blender as I have more control over the mixture. Be careful not to over blend, the sauce has to be runny and thick so sticks onto the Poblanos.
- Carefully stuff the poblanos one by one with the stuffing. To keep them warm before serving, I heat the oven and I place them there for 5 minutes.
- Place the poblanos with the incision down and cover them with the nogada sauce. (see picture below)
- Then scatter at one end the pomegranate seeds and at the other end the chopped parsley. (see picture below)
I would love to hear if you liked this recipe, tag me on social media #mexicanfoodmemories to see your creations. And if you want to learn to make this recipe and more, join me in one of my Mexican Cooking Classes in north London.