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A wonderful dish. I used some of your techniques to make my own version of this dish for my own food blog, and it came out delicious! I particularly liked the suggestion to leave the stem part of the chile, as it made the presentation so much nicer. I used Cotija cheese and blue cheese mixed with ground beef spiced with cinnamon as the stuffing, and the combination of the creamy walnut sauce and the pomegranates was magical. Thanks for the great recipe, as always!
My absolute favourite Mexican dish. First tried it in a restaurant at the base of the mountain temple in Tepoztlan. Has anyone ever tried using fresh chestnuts instead of walnuts? Is this totally blasphemous or does anyone think it will work?
I think if you will pick the walnuts a few days before they are fully ripe, they will peel easily. I have done that here in California. the meat is white and has a lovely cartilagenous texture; the flexibility of the young nuts allows the skin to come off easily. I use these peeled nuts also in making the famous Italian walnut sauce for pumpkin ravioli.
I love them! so good, one the best delicatessen we have in mexican gastronomy ..a tip, to remove the skin from walnuts, you have to put them in very hot water for 3 min, try to smash them with your fingerprints, moving your fingers, and voila! the skin is believed to be soured, that is why you have to remove it; the chiles with the stuffing can be cold, or at room temp, but the walnut sauce has to be hot, definitive! and its got to be pork, or at least meat, or half & half, never chicken. greetings
A Mexican friend of mine suggests using blanched almonds instead of the walnuts because of the peeling problem. She said it isn’t perfectly authentic, but is a lovely dish in its own right. I haven’t tried it, but she is a GREAT cook. Everything she ever made for us has been fantastic, so I’m guessing this would work.
If you put a cream cheese (8 oz)and 2 liters of heavy cream to the shelled walnut 250grs. ,1 teaspoon of clove , 1 spoon of cinamon, and sugar to taste and mix everything in the mixer. You will love it.
Can I combine the chiles en nogada with wine? if so, which one?
Great question, I have no idea. I usually drink beer with Mexican food. If anyone else has suggestions, please chime in. ~Elise
I just had this dish for the first time a few weeks ago in San Miguel de Allende. I’m still thinking about it. I’m pleased to learn that Guaymas restaurant makes it and plan to try it there soon. For more information about the restaurant where I enjoyed it and for the recipe used there (which uses ground beef), check out my blog
I LOVE chilies en nogada. We make sure we’re in Vallarta every year during Mexican holiday just so we can have chilies en nogada at the best place ever! Of course, I can’t think of the name. I just know it’s on the Malecon. At that restaurant, the nogada dish is served warm and is less “sweet” and is absolutely delicious. At another place, in Nuevo Vallarta, the dish is served cold, with the salads, and is a bit sweeter. I now make it every Christmas Eve and am on my way to the grocer for the ingredients today. I usually soak the walnuts in milk overnight and use a new fingernail brush to scrub them clean. It’s a pain but worth it.
Yummy! I just love this dish, and although it is a lot of work, it is worth all of it. This was made up by the nuns in a convent, where they cooked for Iturbide, and actually, it is the most famous kitchen in Mexico, all covered in talavera tiles.
The nuts are Nueces de Castilla, is a variety, hard, rugged shell, almost yellowish, very hard shell, but easy to peel. Otherwise, I use pecans, but either way it is easier to soak them overnight, next day peel them, and then soak them in milk.
Chilies are not supposed to be fried, they are served either warm or at room temp. They are GREEN, the sauce is WHITE and the pomegranate is RED, our flag colors, and the sauce must be eaten within two days because it curdles.
Elise, you can imagine how excited a was to discover that this recipe was available to me. I just last weekend discovered Tiburon and the Angel Island ferry. We capped off a magical family bike/ferry trip with a trip to the candy store and probably the best mexican food I have ever tasted.
It was pure luck that I picked the Chile Relleno, something I hardly ever order. Guyamas staff, location and food are perhaps one of the most amazing dining I have experienced in years. Que Rico!
— STUFFING —
Ground Beef and/or pork (Picadillo… very small)
>>> FRUITS (Mix into stuffing at the end, cook for 6 mins)
Candied Cactus Leaves “Acitron”
Almond and/or Pecans
>>>> SPICES (bouquet garni or mortar and pestle)
— POBLANO CHILIES —
Roast in a sauce pan with olive oil on high.
Put in plastic bag 20 mins.
Devein and peel in cold water.
— NOGADA — (Blended sauce)
Half and Half or Creme Fresh (optional)
Ground Pecans or Walnuts
Milk can be added to thin out the sauce
White Wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper
— GARNISH —
Cilantro or Parsley
I had this in Tepoztlan, except it had ground beef. I’m not going to lie. I hated it because it was way too sweet for me. I think this is just personal taste that I, in general like my meet savory or spicy and not sweet. To each their own.
I was in Mexico City at the end of August and had Chiles en Nogada for the first time at a little hole-in-the wall cafe/restaurant in the middle of a market near Frida Kahlo’s house. I thought I had died and gone to heavan! I even took pictures of the dish so I could remember it, and asked the cook to tell me, on video, how she prepared it. Then I had the pleasure of eating at Las Mananitas in Cuernavaca – where I promptly ordered Chiles en Nogada again. (I also highly recommend their Mojitos) Absolutely riquisimo! It was served very warm at the cafe, though the sauce was cold. Las Manaitas served the entire dish cold. Both were fabulous.
I’m a San Francisco native with Chiles en Nogada as my utmost favorite Mexican dish. I’ve been living in Mexico for about 11 years and I’ve tried the walnuts here. They are definitely of a different variety, though I can’t say which. The flesh is so much softer and whiter when you buy them fresh, unlike the ones I’ve tried back in California, and they peel like a charm. They are called “nuez de la Castilla” here (well, at least in Mexico City; can’t be sure of the rest of the country) and their texture is even a bit rubbery. There is no one recipe for Chiles en Nogada because everyone in Mexico seems to have their own variation on the recipe, like every other dish here. And that, I think, is the beauty of cooking.
So for everyone who has been having trouble with the walnut peeling, just know that it’s the variety of nut and not the blanching or or the soaking.
I just got back from Puerto Vallarta and also had these at the Red Cabbage Restaurant. The single most incredible combination of flavors I have ever experienced. The restaurant has a cookbook, which credits the nuns of Puebla with this dish, among many other culinary creations. Much credit goes also to the fantastic chef Chuy at the Red Cabbage.
For all lovers of this recipe, I highly recommend reading or viewing “Like Water for Chocolate,” the novel by Laura Esquivel, and the movie with a screenplay written by the same. This traditional dish is served at a wedding feast, and the description of the preparation (and the enjoyment) will have your mouth watering and you will be clamoring to enjoy such a wonderful delicacy! Also, a traditional recipe is included in the book, though it’s for 25 chiles, and the directions are actually scattered throughout the chapter. Nonetheless, food lovers (and all lovers) should read this book or see the movie, or better yet, both! (The book is what sent me in search of a recipe I could follow more easily than that in the book. I simply must try it!)
To peel walnuts, the easiest way is to toast them. I learned this technique from “The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen” by Peter Berly (Harper Collins, 2000) Place shelled walnuts on a cookie sheet in a 350° oven for about 7 or 8 minutes, stirring halfway through so nuts toast evenly. The bitter skins become brittle and the oil released by the nuts help to loosen their skins. Toasting the nuts also brings out the flavor carried by the oil. Using a crumpled net bag helps to rub the skins off as well. It is still tedious. Toasting this way works for pecans as well. But almonds need to be blanched and skinned before toasting.
The original recipe calls for peeled walnuts because the skin makes the sauce bitter. The best way to peel them is to leave the walnuts in cold water for ona night, on the next day the skin will ve soft and will peel easily. I have done this and its not difficult at all.
Saludos, disfruten el platillo.
I have learned to make Chiles en Nogada as a mother to mother tradition in the family (though we don’t really know who was the first). When we are able to find fresh walnuts we peel them at once and freeze them in milk to prevent them from drying. But if we use dry ones in a bag, we put those in the blender to make the sauce. However, we make a not so sweet nogada since the filling should be a little sweet from the fruit and put in the blender the fresh cheese, half a small cream cheese, the nuts, sour cream, a little bit of milk and salt and pepper.
You will find thousands of different ways to eat Chiles en Nogada, my family eats them battered in egg whites as well as without batter and at room temperature, but some people eat them warm.
I believe you should try to find which way they taste better for you and enjoy them since they are only eaten between august and september when you find all the ingredients fresh in Mexico