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Chiles En Nogada (Chiles In Walnut Sauce)

6 Chiles poblanos

1 sm Italian parsley

Seeds of one small pomegrana ___picadillo___ 3 lb Boneless pork

1/2 Onion; sliced

2 Cl Garlic; peeled

1 tb Salt

6 tb Lard or the fat from the bro

1/2 md Onion; finely chopped

3 Cl Garlic; peeled and choppe

8 Peppercorns

5 Cloves

1/2 Stick cinnamon

3 tb Raisins

2 tb Almonds; blanched & slivered

2 tb Acitron or candied fruit; ch

2 ts Salt

1 1/4 lb Tomatoes; peeled and seeded

1 Pear; peeled and chopped

1 Peach; peeled and chopped

___nogada (walnut sauce)___ 25 Fresh walnuts; shelled

1 sm White bread; without crust

1/4 lb Farmer cheese

1 1/2 c Thick sour cream; see recipe

1/2 ts Salt; *

lg Powdered cinnamon Recipe by: The Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy ISBN 0-06-012344-3 This is one of the famous dishes of Mexico: large, dark green chiles poblanos stuffed with a pork meat picadillo and covered with a walnut sauce. It is decorated with red pomegranate seeds and the large-leafed Italian parsley. The recipe is said to have been concocted by the grateful people of Puebla, who were giving a banquet in honor of Don Agustin de Iturbide's saint's day, August 28 in 1821. He and his followers had led he final revolt against Spanish domination; as self-proclaimed emperor he had just signed the Treaty of Cordoba. All the dishes at the banquet were concocted of ingredients of the colors of the Mexican flag; in this dish were the green chiles, the white sauce, and the red pomegranate seeds. It is almost worth a special journey to Mexico City or, better still, to Puebla toward the end of August. By then it is well on in the rainy season, and the fresh crop of walnuts will have been gathered. The peasants come in from the country with them, and you can see them sitting on the sidewalks at every street corner selling little piles of a dozen walnuts. Sometimes they are crammed into small paper bags, but the top one will always be cracked open so that you can see its quality. The flesh is tender, almost milky, with a very delicate flavor, and the papery skin around it can be peeled off easily. Practically every restaurant will have chiles en nogado on the menu, and no family fiesta will be complete without them during their short season. You really have to use chiles poblanos for this dish. Bell peppers or the canned, peeled green chiles are no substitutes. The walnuts should be very fresh, but in a pinch you could use the commercially packed walnuts, which soften and swell when soaked in water overnight. One of the points most vehemently discussed among Mexican cooks is whether the chiles for this dish should be capeados (covered with beaten egg and fried) or not. I agree with those who say no; I think the rich sauce and batter together is too much. They are served warm with the cold sauce poured over them at the last moment. But if you personally prefer them capeados, then do it that way. * Many people like a slightly sweet sauce, while others prefer it a little salty--it is entirely a mater of taste. If you prefer sweet, substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar for the 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Prepare the picadillo: Cut the meat into large cubes. Put them into the pan with the onion, garlic, and salt and cover with cold water. Bring the meat to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer until just tender--about 40 to 45 minutes. Do not overcook. Leave the meat to cool off in the broth. Strain the meat, reserving the broth, then shred or chop it finely and set it aside. Let the broth get completely cold and skim off the fat. Reserve the fat. Melt the lard and cook the onion and garlic, without browning, until they are soft. Add the meat and let it ook until it begins to brown. Crush the spices roughly and add them, with the rest of the ingredients to the meat mixture. Cook the mixture a few moments longer. Mash the tomatoes a little and add them to the mixture in the pan. Continue cooking the mixture over a high flame for about 10 minutes, stirring it from time to time so that it does not stick. It should be almost dry. Prepare the walnut sauce: Cover the nuts with boiling water and leave them to soak for 5 minutes. (If you leave them soaking too long the skin will become too soft and will be more difficult to remove.) Remove the papery brown skin--it should come off quite easily.

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