Chiles En Nogadas

2 hours
to prep

0 minutes
to cook

4–6 servings

About this Recipe

This special recipe was created especially for the Mexican Independence Day in September by the nuns from Puebla Mexico.

Recipe by: Chef Evangelina
Photos by: Chef Evangelina

Ingredients

  • 4–6 chile poblanos, grilled, peeled, and de-seeded

For walnut cream sauce:

  • 1 ½ cup walnuts, soaked in water overnight – then soaked in nut milk (Peeled walnuts are best to keep the sauce white but pricy – unpeeled soaked walnuts do just fine.)
  • 1 ½ cup cashews, soaked in water overnight – then soaked in nut milk
  • 1 ½ cups of plant based milk (I prefer oat milk)
  • 1/3 cup vegan mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 date, pitted
  • Salt to taste (optional)

For the filling:

  • Water – for water frying
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 4 cups Crimini mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegan butter
  • 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) low sodium tamari, or essential aminos
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped small
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped small
  • ½ cup blanched almonds, chopped small
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup cranberries (or raisins)
  • 10 – 12 dried apricots, chopped small
  • 1 apple, chopped medium
  • 1 pear, chopped medium
  • 1 peach, chopped medium
Lao-Style Pho

Garnish:

  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 pomegranate – de-seeded
  • ½ cup blanched almonds, chopped small

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the nuts:
Step 1

The night before – place the walnuts and cashews for the cream sauce in water to soak. Best to soak the walnuts separate from the cashews.

Step 2

In the morning throw away the water and rinse the soaked nuts. Place cashews, walnuts, and the pitted date in a large bowl. Cover with the plant based milk. Set-aside.

Charring the chiles:
Step 1

Choose your method of charring the chiles. Char the chile poblanos on all sides. *see Chef Tips below.

Step 2

Place each charred chile in a plastic bag to sweat – this allows the skin to loosen. Set aside for 15 – 30 minutes.

Making the walnut cream sauce:
Step 1

Take the nuts and date out of the milk and place them in a high-speed blender along with the mozzarella cheese and 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the milk A regular blender will work but you will need to blend longer in order to make the sauce smooth.

Step 2

Blend until smooth. If the mixture is still too think you can add another tablespoon of the milk. The mixture should not be too thin so add the milk sparingly.

Peeling the chiles:
Step 1

Take the chiles from the plastic bag and place them on a flat surface. Depending on the method you have used for charring – peel or scrape the loosened charred skin from the chiles.

Step 2

Make a slit on one side of the chile and cut out the seed bed. Once the skin is removed and the chiles are de-seeded set them aside. You can even place them in a warming bin.

Making the filling:
Step 1

To water fry: Heat up a skillet on medium high heat. A non-stick pan is better so that you don’t have to use oil in the onion and your water frying will go much easier. After your pan is heated place about 2 tablespoons of water in the pan. The water should bubble. Add the chopped onion. Spread them out over the surface of the pan. Then leave them alone. Watch the edges of the onions to see when they start to turn brown. This will take a few minutes.

Step 2

When the onions start to turn color on the edges stir them around and once again spread them evenly over the surface of the pan. Add another 2 tablespoons of water and repeat the process. Continue this process until the onions become translucent and browned. Remember: “There is flavor in the brown.” The caramelization of the natural sugars in the vegetables gives an added fuller flavor.

Step 3

Once the onions are ready add the mushrooms. Stir – then add a teaspoon of oil and a teaspoon of vegan butter. Combine the mixture and allow the mushrooms to caramelize. This will take a several minutes. Due to the water in the mushrooms they will steam – allow the steam to evaporate. This will also help the mushrooms to brown.

Step 4

After the mushrooms have browned add the bay leaf.

Step 5

Add 1 teaspoon at a time of the Tamari. You may need only 1 or 2 teaspoons. After mixing and cooking for a minute taste mixture to see if it needs more. Add the last teaspoon if necessary.

Step 6

Periodically add water, a tablespoon or 2 at a time, so that your filling does not burn.

Step 7

Add your bell peppers and allow them to cook and brown with the mushrooms.

Step 8

Add walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Stir periodically for 2 minutes.

Step 9

Add chopped tomatoes and parsley. Stir them around into the mixture. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Step 10

Stir in the dried fruits – cranberries and apricots. Mix. Add a tablespoon of water if necessary.

Step 11

Add the fresh fruit last – peaches, apples, pears, and mix to cook – about 2 minutes. You add the fresh fruit last so that it doesn’t go to mush.

Step 12

Add the spices, cinnamon, oregano, pepper. Mix and cook for another 3 minutes. Make sure everything is incorporated. Taste – a pinch of salt is optional at this point. If added – mix again. Set-aside to cool just enough for so you can stuff the chiles.

Step 13

Once the filling is cooled enough to handle carefully place the filling in each of the chiles with a spoon. Once stuffed gently pull the slits together so the filling will stay inside.

Step 14

Although you can place all the chiles on a large serving plate, it looks more finished if you place each chile on its own plate. Cover the chiles with the cream sauce. Garnish with parsley, pomegranates, and blanched almonds. This dish is made to be eaten at room temperature. However you can keep the chiles in a warming bin and just before serving you can take them out and cover with the cream sauce and beautiful garnish. Enjoy your creation!

Chef’s Notes

Charring the chiles:

The chiles can be charred with a direct flame on a gas stove or on a grill with the direct flame.

They can also be charred in an oven under the broiler. When charring on direct flame the chiles are much easier to peel.

They stay firmer and hold their shape a bit more.

When using the broiler method the chiles need to be watched carefully as they have to be turned so that they don’t burn too much.

I use a broiler on low. Putting in the chiles all together on a sheet pan is faster but you also get more steam which will steam the chiles as well as char them.

If you enjoy the chiles softer then this is a good method. However they take a bit more time peeling. For both methods it is best to use gloves.

Direct flame method:

Hold each chile over the fire.

If you have a gas stove with several burners you can easily place chiles, 2 at a time, over the flames.

Watch carefully. They will blacken. The skin should completely charred – they will look black.

Once they are blackened you can place them in a plastic bag to sweat or cover them with a moist tea towel – this will loosen the skin of the chile. Leave them for 15 – 30 minutes.

Take the chiles out of the bag.

Place them on a flat surface. With the backside of a knife you can scrape the char off of each chile. Make sure to clean all the char off the chile as it does not taste good. After scraping you can clean with a soft cloth or a moist paper towel.

Oven method:

Turn broiler on and allow to heat up. Place the chiles on a shallow baking sheet.

Careful not to put more than 3 chiles in at the same time because they will steam and you want them to char first. Watch the chiles carefully.

Once the chiles are charred on one side turn them over.

Do the same thing on all sides until each chile is blackened. Once the chiles are blackened place them in a plastic bag to sweat or cover them with a moist tea towel so that the skin will come off more easily. Leave them for 15 – 30 minutes.

Take them out of the bag.

Place them on a flat surface. You will need to carefully peel back the charred skin of the chile. Be careful not to pull off the meat of the chile.

Once the char is removed clean with a soft cloth or moist paper towel.

De-seeding the chiles:

Make a slit on one side of the chile. At the top under the stem of the chile is the seed bed.

With scissors snip the top of the seed bed and pull out the seeds.

You can also pull out the white veins of the chile as there is heat in the seeds as well as the veins. You can continue to clean out the seeds with a spoon.

Set the chiles aside. They are now ready for the filling.