This is one of Mexico's most famous and beautiful dishes; it even shares the colors of the Mexican flag. Originally from Puebla, it is customarily prepared in July and August, when the best poblano chiles, walnuts, and pomegranates are in season. Though it is becoming popular to substitute pecans and blanched almonds, only fresh walnuts achieve the creamy texture and lightly sweet flavor of the original recipe. You can also make a casserole version of this dish by baking the ground (minced) meat between the top and bottom layers of chile strips, heating it through in the oven, then topping with walnut sauce, parsley, and pomeganate seeds before serving.
- For Sauce:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 ounces panela or farmer's cheese, diced
- 1 1/4 cups fresh walnuts, shelled; or 1 cup pecans and 1/4 cup blanched almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- For Chiles:
- 2 pounds pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 onion, cut in half
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt plus 1/2 tablespoon 1/2 half tablespoon salt, or to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes with skins, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 onions, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 - 1 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1 plantain, or underripe banana, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 firm peach, skinned, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup acitron (crystallized biznaga cactus) or candied orange peel, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 large sprig parsley
- 12 poblano chiles, roasted and deveined
- Flat-leafed (continental or Italian) parsley, for garnish
- Seeds of 1 large pomegranate, for garnish
FOR SAUCE: Blend all the ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Set aside.
FOR CHILES: Put the meat in a saucepan with enough water to cook and cook over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender, skimming any foam from the surface with a large spoon and discarding. Drain the meat, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the next 12 ingredients and the remaining salt, along with the pork. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (the meat will begin to fall apart). The meat should be slightly moist. If it becomes dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Remove the cinnamon stick and the parsley sprig.
Stuff each chile with the pork mixture and place them on serving plates. Pour the sauce over the chiles, avoiding the bases and stems, if possible.
Garnish with parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
557 calories; 39g total fat; 60mg cholesterol; 674mg sodium; 31g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 24g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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