Chiles en nogada
What is chiles en nogada?
The Mexican dish, chiles en nogada (pronounced “chi-lees en noo-GAA-da”) consists of poblano peppers filled with meat and fruit, served in a walnut-cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and parsley.
The poblano is a mild green chilli pepper from the state of Puebla in Mexico and the dish is usually eaten in the months of August and September when walnuts and pomegranates are in season. However, there are now plenty of restaurants all over the world where you can also order the dish out of season.
The dish was invented in 1821 by nuns in Puebla for the military leader, Agustin de Iturbide. This important guest travelled through the city after signing the Cordoba Treaty, which made Mexico independent of Spain. People like to eat it on September 16, Independence Day.
Did you know...
The colours of the dish – the white sauce, pomegranate and parsley – correspond to the colours of the Mexican flag.
How to make chiles en nogada
Most chefs fill their chilli peppers with pork, but instead of using pre-ground minced meat, they first cook a piece of meat and then chop it up. This gives a wonderful flavour and texture to the filling. The cooked, chopped meat is then baked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, raisins, almonds and cubes of fresh fruit, such as apple, pear, peach and banana. The resulting filling is called picadillo. The chilli peppers are roasted over a flame and then peeled, cleaned on the inside and filled with the picadillo.
For the sauce, walnuts are soaked in milk overnight and then blended with sherry, fresh (goat) cream cheese or sour cream, salt and sugar.
The filled chilli peppers are sometimes also coated with a flour and egg dough jacket and fried in oil. They are placed on plates, topped with walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate and parsley. Olé!