Chilies in Walnut Sauce

Submitted by:
Like Water for Chocolate Recipes

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves:

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

The Picadillo:
2 lbs of boneless pork
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp salt, or to taste
6 Tbsp of lard or the fat from the broth
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
The cooked meat (about 3 cups - note if you use more than 3 cups, you will need to increase the amounts of the other ingredients)
A molcajete (mortar and pestle)
8 peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1/2 inch stick cinnamon
3 heaping Tbsp of raisins
2 Tbsp blanched and slivered almonds
2 heaping Tbsp acitron or candied fruit, chopped
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 pear, cored, peeled and chopped
1 peach, pitted, peeled and chopped

The Chilies:
6 poblano chiles (you MUST use this type of chile)

The Nogada (walnut sauce)
The day before:
20 to 25 fresh walnuts, shelled
cold milk
On serving day:
The soaked and drained nuts
1 small piece white bread without crust
1/4 lb queso fresco
1 1/2 cups thick sour creme (or creme fraiche)
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
Large pinch of cinnamon


Method

Picadillo
Cut the meat into large cubes. Put them into the pan with the onion, garlic, and salt and cover with cold water. Bring the meat to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer until just tender - about 40-45 minutes. Do not over cook. Leave the meat to cool off in the broth.

Strain the meat, reserving the broth, then shred or chop it finely and set it aside. Let the broth get completely cold and skim off the fat. Reserve the fat.

Melt the lard and cook the onion and garlic, without browning, until they are soft.

Add the meat and let it cook until it begins to brown.

Crush the spices roughly in the molcajete and add them, with the rest of the ingredients to the meat mixture. (If you don't have a molcajete, you can use the blunt end of a pestle to crush the spices in a bowl.) Cook the mixture a few moments longer.

Add chopped peach and pear to the mixture.

The Chilies

Put the poblano chiles straight into a fairly high flame or under a broiler and let the skin blister and burn. Turn the chiles from time to time so they do not get overcooked or burn right through. (See How to roast chile peppers over a gas flame tutorial using Anaheim chiles.)

Wrap the chiles in a damp cloth or plastic bag and leave them for about 20 minutes. The burned skin will then flake off very easily and the flesh will become a little more cooked in the steam. Make a slit in the side of each chili and carefully remove the seeds and veins. Be careful to leave the top of the chili, the part around the base of the stem, intact. (If the chilies are too hot - picante, let them soak in a mild vinegar and water solution for about 30 minutes.) Rinse the chilies and pat them dry.

Stuff the chilies with the picadillo until they are well filled out. Set them aside on paper towels.

The Nogada (Walnut Sauce)

The day before Remove the thin papery skin from the nuts. (Note, these are Diana Kennedy's instructions. I have found it virtually impossible to remove the skins from the fresh walnuts that come from our walnut tree. The above photo shows the sauce which includes the skins. I think it would be creamier without the skins, but what can you do? We found that blanching the walnuts did not help get the skin off. Completely cover the walnuts with cold milk and leave them to soak overnight.

On serving day blend all of the ingredients in a blender until they are smooth.

To assemble the dish, cover the chilies in the nogada sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds.

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