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Chiles en Nogada


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http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/pls/impreso/...tabla=articulos

Chiles en nogada is probably my favorite non-antojito. I had my first one at Hosteria de Santo Domingo in el centro historico.

I need to try them sometime when Cafe Azul is making them here in Portland. (I should call them up; it should be seasonal now.)

Generally I just make them for myself when pomegranates are in season. Problem is, it's hard to find good poblanos this time of year. And even good ones here aren't near as plump and large as what you find in Mexico. The best ones here are a mere shadow of what you find there. Last Thanksgiving I made them with smoked turkey in the picadillo. They were a big hit even with lots of conservative eaters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got to cook these for a conference dinner in Puebla - and the poblanos we had were easily 10" long. You can now buy the nueces de Castillo - that special variety of walnut, harvested when it is just ripe, and the meat is still soft - in bags frozen, which makes it easier to make the salsa de nogada. I did discover after talking to a lot of Poblanos (the people, not the chiles!!) that many families do not dip the filled peppers in the egg yolk/egg white batter and fry them. They serve them 'naked', at room temp with the sauce, flat parsley leaves and pomegranite seeds.

I like them best this way because the traditional picadillo filling is incredibly rich and somewhat sweet with fruits and acitron, and the batter just puts it over the top.

Don't know why, but this seems to be the time to get the mutant chiles out. One typical serving of chile en nogada would easily feed two people. But omigod they're good!

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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I don't think I've ever had chiles en nogada that were dipped in egg batter. I've had other chile rellenos in egg batter, just not en nogada.

Pecans work good for the sauce as well. I don't know the origin of pecans but you guys have a lot of them down there in Texas, so I'd think they'd be a tasty alternative.

I really wish we could get those huge poblanos up here in Portland. Never seen them. I was just in Tijuana. Took my little brothers to Mexico for the first time (and didn't put one foot on Revolucion, either). Went to the Mercado Hidalgo, a smallish market not too far from the border that focuses on food. It was fun to get to have them smell fresh chiles, a variety of dried chiles, the myriad of fruits, including the wonderful smell of fresh guyabas, and buy a bunch of Mexican candies such as watermelon lollipops you dip in chile spice mixtures.

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I don't think I've ever had chiles en nogada that were dipped in egg batter. I've had other chile rellenos in egg batter, just not en nogada.

In restaurants throughout the City and State of Puebla, 99.99% of the chiles en nogada I've seen have been battered. From what I can tell that is, at least for some time now, the 'traditional' way of serving them. Go figure. I think I can safely say that it's just way too much.

I like that batter, and, when you think about it, if you can use something protein based (finely ground chicharrones, etc) to roll a stuffed chile in so there is enough traction for the batter to hold, a chile relleno can be made (God forgive me!) Atkins-friendly. But the combination of that batter and that cream and nut sauce is just way over the top.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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That's interesting about the batter-covered chiles en nogada in Puebla, Sharon. My impression talking to a variety of Mexicans from local housewives to Mexico City foodies to chefs is that most people would agree with you and ExtraMSG that the batter is too much and just serve them with the sauce and a white rice. Certainly that's the way I prefer them.

I suppose the person who would be able to tell us more about this than anyone else is Ricardo Muñoz who wrote a splendid book, Los chiles rellenos en Mexico (which unfortunately I don't have because I didn't buy it the minute I saw it and like all Mexican books, if you don't grab 'em when you see them you've probably lost the chance for ever).

On a related matter, I see more and more chiles rellenos of all types wrapped in hojaldre (puff pastry) instead of the batter. I guess it's easier because getting that batter to stick and come out just right is tricky. But if there's to be a covering I prefer the batter. I think this is a new trend in Mexican cooking though I'm not sure. Certainly hojaldre has been around since the Spanish arrived but I don't think it was used this way until recently,

Rachel

Rachel Caroline Laudan

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I've never liked battered chiles rellenos that much and that's part of the reason I love chiles en nogada so much. Although, the balance of spicy/sweet meat with chile separating a nutty/creamy sauce with the tart pomegranate seeds popping in your mouth is sublime.

Now I'm wishing I would have taken my family somewhere less safe than Sanbornes in Tijuana and found some chiles en nogada. I'm giving Cafe Azul a call tomorrow and see if they're making them for the holidays.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Theabroma, can you tell me more about the frozen nueces? What brand? Do they come with the fuzzy shells still on? I have looked all over the damn place for fresh green walnuts in season, and can't find them--and I live in NYC. I've got a line on some next summer from my Cypriot produce guy, but until then...

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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Zora - it was my Poblano chef-friend who told me about them. I will have to get in touch with him and find out what the story is ... whether he can get some, how much, etc. I also would like to know the source within Mexico for them. If he can get his hands on a modest amount I can find out how much it would be $$$ to ship them here. You interested??

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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Yeah, definitely--keep me posted!

Green almonds got a big push last season--why not the walnuts too? All the walnut producers I've contacted, as well as the American Walnut Board (or whatever it's called), have said no dice on selling green walnuts. Only one producer, which also has orchards in Spain, even had any idea what I was talking about. They grow on their trees, for God's sake! There are enough cuisines that use green walnuts (Mexican, Cypriot, French, Lebanese, Syrian) that you'd think there would be a market here...or that someone would jump on them as a trendy ingredient. Chefs, produce dealers, PR people--are you reading?

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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I've never seen the frozen walnuts in Mexico though I'd love to come across them. I have seen the fresh ones in the ritzier markets in Mexico City. You can buy not just shelled but with the thin bitter inner skin peeled off. I can't remember what they cost but they are not cheap. Which makes me suspect that many purported chiles en nogada aren't.

Rachel

Rachel Caroline Laudan

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  • 5 months later...

Chiles en nogada and the bounty of our Portland Farmer's Market inspired me to make something a little different: hongos rellenos.

Made a picadillo of sauteed onions, garlic, diced criminis, corn kernels, and dried apricots. I roasted some huge morels in the oven until softened. Then I stuffed the mushrooms with the picadillo. The morels were surprisingly flexible once roasted and I could stuff a lot of picadillo in them. I then heated those through in the oven. I served them on top of a chipotle cream, dishing a little more picadillo over the top.

See here:

i10371.jpg

I also made quesadillas con flores de calabaza, but I'm using those for an upcoming class on antojitos. It's so nice getting fresh squash blossoms as opposed to the canned stuff.

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Another rellenos experiement. There were these perfect, but smallish, poblanos at the store (Safeway of all places). Had to use them. Had some shrimp and corn and mushrooms, so....

i10569.jpg

The chiles are stuffed with a "picadillo" of sauteed mushrooms and shrimp. The sauce below and on top is a mixture of sauteed corn, onions, garlic, and crema (and salt). Pretty decent really, although the poblanos were too spicy for my wife.

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  • 1 month later...

Just got back from the Yucatan, and it's high chiles en nogada season, leading up to the patriotic frenzy of Independence Day on Sept. 15-16. I had delicious, non-battered chiles en nogada at a new restaurant in Tulum called Cetli, in L'Hotelito on the main highway in town. The woman who cooks, waits tables, buses, etc.--the only woman who works there--is doing refined traditional stuff, and it's generally pretty good...or my chiles en nogada were: fairly light, thin sauce with a strong walnut flavor, and a really tasty filling with distinct chunks of fruit in the pepper, which had been nicely charred.

My boyfriend had some peanut mole that was not so great--the sauce was more of a barely peanutty broth, and all just a bit too delicate to be satisfying. Also, they don't have a liquor license. And the cream-cheese-and-chile-jam on crackers snack was undeniably good, but just reminded me of my parents' cocktail parties in the early 80s in New Mexico--way too dated.

Otherwise, though, this woman seems like a smart cook, and the place is insanely cute. Also very cheap considering the level of preparation that goes into things--and no more expensive than any of the non-Mexican sit-down options in Tulum. Worth a stop even if you don't get there before chiles en nogada disappear after September 15...

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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I'm pretty sure there weren't.  Would've been a nice salty balance element, though, now that I think about it...

In addition to the shredded pork meat, I always use sautéed white onion, minced garlic, minced chile serrano, diced potatoes, diced carrots, sliced olives, raisins, diced fresh tomatoes, sometimes a diced fresh pear or apple...let's see...bay leaf, a sprig or two of fresh oregano, salt...I think that's all. :rolleyes:

I love picadillo, not just as a stuffing for Chiles en Nogada but also served with white rice. In fact, I wish I had some right now. I'm sooooo hungry. Time to go raid the refri.

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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  • 10 years later...

Picking up this thread 11 years later...

 

Chiles en nogada have been mentioned recently in a eG thread: (I still don't know how to post other eG sites) Cinco de Mayo...What will you make?? in Food Traditions & Culture  and I said I would make these for the first time on this coming Tuesday.  However, I hae ma doots.

 

My recipe comes from Rick Bayless posted by Jaymes.  Poblanos imported into Canada are obviously not the prime kind and I have no idea of their growing season.  Actually I can't recall if their origins are noted.  I have never seen white walnuts for sale and have only the regular kind...these from North Carolina sent to me by an eG chum.  We can't buy pears which are local in May.  And there are no peaches at any prices.  Haven't seen a fresh plantain recently although in all fairness they might be in the stores.  I could buy a pomegranate although most of it would go to waste.  DH hates them. 

Question:  should I just make something else?  BTW, I've never had this dish.  Mexican restaurants in Peterborough are pretty much limited to non-pork dishes (no, I'm not kidding) and feature mostly tacos.  What to do?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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The chiles are stuffed with picadillo which is basically a hash. There are a great many recipes for picadillo and most of the ones with which I am familiar do use a bit of sweet fruit but raisins are, in my experience anyway, the most common. You definitely don't need to use pears.

I'd suggest you begin your Chiles en Nogada adventures with making a picadillo that you like. Picadillo is a wonderful thing all by itself and is something that I often served in a chafing dish as a hot dip with tortilla chips.

Here's a previous thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/144227-picadillo-my-first-try/

As far as the walnuts go, I've made it many times with regular walnuts. The most important thing is to have the walnuts be as fresh as possible, but we often have to just make do with what we have.

I'd definitely advise you to do that - just soldier through with what you have, rather than abandoning the effort. I've eaten a lot of Mexican food throughout the years and, if I had to pick one dish as my very favorite above all others, it would be Chiles en Nogada.

Just keep doing research until you find a recipe/ingredients/method, etc., that works for you.

.

Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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And regarding the pomegranate seeds - they definitely add something to the dish. In addition to being so beautiful and representing the red in the Mexican flag, they're crunchy and tangy and sweet. But they are basically just a garnish and I've had Chiles en Nogada lots of times without them, including at a cooking class presented by Susana Trilling. She said she was unable to source them in time for the class so she used dried cranberries instead.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Funny, just as I was thinking of answering you, I returned to that old thread and found my own response on it.  My "Picadillo a la Cabana" (still don't know how to put a tilde on the 'n' when online) which is exactly what I'd make again this time given your answer...which I greatly appreciated.  You are definitely my first go-to mentor for things Mexican.

 

And, of course, I always have dried cranberries on hand.

 

So, I'll do just that...soldier on and make the dish.   Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Like 1

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I love picadillo but I'm curious about something.  Several recipes call for beef and an equal number call for pork.  I have always used beef simply because that is what I tend to have on hand when the picadillo craving hits me.  Also I have used pecans in a pinch and they worked out just fine.  What is the authentic meat to use?  

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I love picadillo but I'm curious about something.  Several recipes call for beef and an equal number call for pork.  I have always used beef simply because that is what I tend to have on hand when the picadillo craving hits me.  Also I have used pecans in a pinch and they worked out just fine.  What is the authentic meat to use?

I'm no food historian but I strongly suspect that, for a variety of reasons, when the nuns of Puebla first created the dish, they probably used pork.

  • Like 1

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You are definitely my first go-to mentor for things Mexican.

Thanks for the compliment, but I'm not sure that's terribly wise of you.

There are definitely a great many folks here on eG that know more about Mexican food than I do.

But, like I said, thanks.

  • Like 1

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Cinco de Mayo is here and we had Chiles en Nogada for lunch.  The pictures I took were all incredibly fuzzy and so I didn't post one.  Sorry.  Don't know why.

 

They were delicious and we both enjoyed them muchly.  My long-time Picadillo recipe is from Elisabeth Ortiz, The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking.  First ppb edition, 1967.  It predates my interest in Mexican food...or even cooking for that matter...and I have NO idea of why I bought it way back when.  It's absolutely in tatters from age and use.   I merge the two Ortiz recipes and I used bananas and apples as the fruit.  Oh, and add cocoa just for the heck of it.

 

Two problems remain:

- the poblanos were not very strong after blackening under the broiler.  Too much heat and ended up partially cooked.  Not sure what to do.  I have a little propane stove put aside for emergencies.  Maybe I could use it in future.  Not sure what the objection is to the poblano skin.  Doesn't seem all that substantial to me and I ignore it for Chile Verde and Rajas and using Poblanos in salads.

- the sauce.  I can't do mortar and pestle with these hands and in the food processor the walnuts cannot be ground to a smooth nothing.  Little bits remain.  Now I don't really care, but it's not satisfactory to serve to guests in this state.  What to do.

 

Thanks to all who helped me in this new venture.  It really turned out well and I'll do it again. 

  • Like 1

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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