Kosher-Style Chiles en Nogada

Adapted from Pati Jinich and Saveur

Chiles en nogada is a Wandering Chew’s OG recipe. We served these delicious poblano stuffed chilis at our second pop-up dinner ever, in March 2014. The peppers are stuffed with rice, fruits and nuts and were a huge hit early on in our Chew adventure. It was the incredible response to this recipe, amongst others, that made us sure that we were onto something with The Wandering Chew as a means to tell Jewish stories with food.

This dish is traditionally served in September to celebrate Mexico’s Independence day. The green chiles, red pomegranate seeds and white walnut sauce resembles the three colours of the Mexican flag. For Mexican Jews like Julian and Bethel Durazo-Herrmann, the chiles are the perfect Rosh Hashanah dish. They replace the meat with a vegetarian filling, making it kosher.

Ingredients

  • 10 poblano chiles

Filling

  • 8 oz. cooked rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Bartlett pear, diced
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Walnut Sauce

  • 4 oz. walnuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 oz. queso fresco
  • 1 cup crema or sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. sherry
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Garnish

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

directions

Place the chiles on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler, turning every two to three minutes until they are charred and blistered but not burnt.
Place the peppers in a tightly closed plastic or Ziploc bag and let them sweat for 10-20 minutes.

Peel the skin off each chile and gently rinse with water once you have removed all of the skin. With a knife, make a slit down the middle of the chile and remove the seeds and membrane. Carefully handle the flesh so it does not tear and make sure to keep the stem intact.

To make the filling, heat a pan over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until they are translucent. Add in the cumin, cinnamon, and cloves and saute for a minute until the spices are fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until tomatoes break down. Add the raisins, almonds, pine nuts, apple, pear, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens for another 5 minutes.

Put onion mixture in a bowl and stir in the cooked rice. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the walnut sauce, place walnuts in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Drain walnuts. Using a stiff-bristled brush, peel away most of the skin from the walnuts and set aside.

Heat milk to just under a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add walnuts. Let sit, covered, to soften nuts, for about 30 minutes.

Transfer walnuts and milk to a blender along with queso fresco, crema, sherry, and sugar, and purée until very smooth and thick, at least 2 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place the chiles on a serving platter and stuff each one with enough filling so that they are completely filled. Spoon walnut cream sauce over the chiles so that they are fully covered. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Yields 10 chiles
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