Chiles en Nogada! An Independence Day Treat!

Chiles en Nogada, A Patriotic Dish Traditionally Served in September.
By Susan Fogel

 

chile en nogada

Okay, so you aren’t going to go to the Palacio to take part in El Grito, and maybe you even decided against finding a place to watch the fireworks. There is one thing you can do the week of September 16th, and that is enjoy a truly wonderful dish called Chiles en Nogada. No worries we are not going to print a recipe here. These babies take a lot of work. And when anyone talks about this gorgeous, rich, sumptuous dish, they all say: “Oh I love Nogada, but they are too much work to make myself!”
Where is grandma when you need her anyway?
If you have ever made green chile soup, arroz verde or chiles relleno, you know what hard work is when it comes to cooking with these wonderful, beefy poblano chiles.

chile en npogada 2

Here is how Wikipedia describes Chiles en Nogada:
“…Chiles en nogada is a poblano chile stuffed with ground beef, fruit, herbs, and spices, then covered in a creamy walnut sauce. The final garnish is pomegranate seeds. The three colors of the Mexican flag are represented here, green for the chiles, the walnut sauce is white, and the pomegranate seeds are red, so this is a very traditional dish eaten during the month of September in Mexico…”

Here is how I describe it: Rich, sweet, succulent with a little bite from the poblano chiles, scrumptious. One September, I ate it every day at different restaurant. I just could not get enough.
The wonderful thing about holiday specialties is that they are only served during their special holiday. They do not become commonplace.
Chiles en Nogada are not cheap as an entrée, but my friends you will not be disappointed.
My mouth is watering as I write this!

Grab your partner, a friend, or someone off the street just say “Want to go have Nogada?” and complete strangers will follow you anywhere.
At press time several of the other, better restaurants in town were not serving nogada, or were undecided .
So head to one of these wonderful, La Paz restaurants and enjoy the crowd and festive atmosphere.

LasTres Virgenes on Madero Street a few doors from Aramburo, Jesse Chavez, owner and head food designer says Nogada have been on the menu for a week already. It is always best to make reservations 123 2226
Café El Corazon on Revolucion and 5 de Mayo: starting this Friday until the end of the month for reservations:
128 8985
El Rincon Gourmet will be serving Nogada all month. Theyare on Bravo near TELMEX.

Please leave a comment! I lo0ve to hear from you.                                                   chile en nogada 3

Green Chile Soup

Green Chile Soup
By Susan Fogel

Lunch is ready!

First off C-H-I-L-E is the way we spell the word that means hot peppers in English. Next, we are using the poblano chile the big, shiny, long, dark green peppers you see in the grocery store. And lastly, some like it cold, we like it hot. That means a touch picante ( spicy hot) and caliente (temperature hot).

This is different from the cream of green chile soup one finds in the Duarte Hotel near Pescadero in California. That’s US California, not one of the states of the Baja Peninsula. We have a Pescadero here in Southern Baja. While this is a creamy, green soup it has no cream in it.

My husband says I can never make enough of it. And he also thinks that what I make is all for him.
The last batch I made was enough to serve six people. I had one bowl and never saw another drop. The morning after I made it, I saw the big Dutch oven on the stove and thought “ I’ll heat up the leftover soup and have some for breakfast.” I lifted the lid to see a shiny, clean pot. He had finished if off.

I marched into the bedroom where the senor was still snoring away and shouted:
“ You ate all the soup !” I said. His response from deep under the covers was “ Well you made it for me didn’t you?”
Well actually no, I thought we would get two meals out of it…silly me. And the soup is the reason for this post.
I mentioned in a few emails that I was making Green Chile Soup. A few friends said to send the recipe; others said they would be right over.

And that is another problem in our marriage: my beloved believes that any and all green chile soup or arroz verde (green rice) is made just for him. He hates it when I make these dishes for company, it means he must be polite and share. And he glares at me if I offer guests seconds. Two Christmases ago I made dozens of jars of the soup as gifts, he hated to see each one leave the house.

So here is the way I make the soup.
4-6 nicely shaped Poblano chiles

Gorgeous, Poblano Chiles

Couple cloves of garlic
Half an onion
Two beef bouillon cubes ( or bouillon of your choice)
¼ cup blanched almonds or toasted walnuts
Cut off the stem end of the chile
Remove the seeds and veins (you may want to wear plastic gloves, they can burn)
Like this:

Gorgeous Poblano chiles

Roast the Chiles on the grill, under the broiler or on a BBQ fork right in the gas flame on you stove until they look like this:

jusicy roasted poblanos
Poblanos cut and deviened

Once you have roasted the chiles put them in a plastic bag to sweat for 15 minutes.

Poblano chiles sweating

At the same time brown the garlic and onions in a Dutch oven
Grind up the bouillon and the blanched almonds in the blender
Add four cups of water and blend again.

After the chiles have cooled enough for you to handle slide off the outer skin.
Then cut them in strips. Toss them in the big Dutch oven brown them a little. Actually you are just tossing them in the olive oil, onion and garlic mixture.

Add the water with the bouillon. Bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
It will look like this:

Green Chile Soup almost ready

Then puree the soup in the blender until it is creamy. Do this in manageable quantities.
It will look like this:

Gorgeous, Creamy Green Chile Soup

A dollop of sour cream adds a nice cool touch.
Or come to the beach and I’ll make it for you!