Chiles en Nogada also known as Stuffed poblano Chiles with Walnut Sauce, featuring a seasonal favorite... pomegranates! Commonly made to to celebrate Mexican Independence Day on September 16, these chiles have a minced pork filling enhanced with chopped fruit, a creamy walnut sauce, topped with pomegranates. Enjoy!
1. Make the filling: Bring pork, 2 whole cloves garlic, half the onion, and 2 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; season with salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until pork is tender, about 1 hour. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and pour cooking liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl; reserve ½ cup cooking liquid, and discard any remaining along with solids. Once cool, finely chop pork, and set aside with cooking liquid. Return saucepan to medium-high heat, and add lard; finely chop remaining onion, and add to pan along with minced garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add parsley and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes. Return pork and cooking liquid to pan along with raisins, almonds, apple, pear, peach, and plantain, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is cooked through and mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and season with salt; set aside.
2. Make the walnut sauce: Place walnuts in a 2-qt. saucepan, and cover with water; bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, and use a stiff-bristled brush to peel away most of the skin from walnuts; set aside. Bring milk to just under a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, and add walnuts; let sit, covered, to soften nuts, about 30 minutes. Transfer walnuts and milk to a blender along with queso fresco, crema, sherry, and sugar, and puree until very smooth and thick, at least 2 minutes. Season with salt, and transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. For the chiles: Heat broiler to high. Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning, until blackened all over, about 20 minutes. Transfer chiles to a bowl, and let cool. Peel and discard skins, stems, and seeds, and cut a slit down the length of each chile. Remove and discard seeds and ribs, keeping chile intact. Place about 2-3 tbsp. filling inside each chile, and close chile around filling to form a tight roll. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Adapted from Saveur