Stuffed Chiles in Walnut Sauce (Chiles en Nogada)
(Chiles en Nogada)
The red, white, and green topping on this Mexican classic—invented in Puebla in the 1820s to celebrate the end of Spanish rule—echoes the colors of Mexico's flag.
6 fresh poblano chiles, about 1 1⁄4 lbs.
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1⁄2 lb. ground pork
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 cup shelled walnuts
1 1⁄2 cups sour cream
4 eggs, separated
Leaves from 2–3 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
Seeds of 1 pomegranate (see A Pomegranate Primer)
1. Char chiles over a gas flame or under a hot broiler, turning to blacken all over. Place chiles in a brown paper bag and close tightly for about 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Peel off blackened skin, taking care not to tear flesh. Cut a slit down the length of each, stopping 1⁄2" from the bottom. Scrape out ribs and seeds; set chiles aside.
2. Cook onions, garlic, and apples in 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until soft, about 20 minutes. Add pork and cook 10 minutes; season with salt, stir in cinnamon and vinegar, and cook 5 minutes more.
3. Purée walnuts and sour cream in a food processor; add salt to taste and set aside.
4. Dry chiles with paper towels and fill them with pork mixture.
5. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Add a pinch of salt; continue to beat till stiff. Lightly beat yolks, then fold into whites. Dredge chiles in flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg. Fry in 1" very hot oil in a large skillet, turning to brown evenly. Drain.
6. Cover chiles with sauce and garnish with cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Serve at once.