(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.