Stuffed Chiles, Anyone??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This week in Latin Cuisine, we were still in Mexico. Don't worry. It was the last week there. We move on to South America next week. I have thoroughly enjoyed our time (and our food!!) from this country, though.

This week I prepared the Stuffed Chile Rellenos, or Chiles in Nogada Walnut Sauce. As I researched, I discovered the difference between the two names is basically that Stuffed Chile Rellenos usually just use cheese and possibly onions where the recipe I prepared today called for onions, fruit (apples, dried peaches, and raisins), nuts, and ground pork but no cheese. I, again, have not been a fan of chiles in the past. I've always been put off by the worry that they would be too spicy for me. I think this comes from an incident when I was very young at a Walmart. My sisters were supposed to keep me entertained at the "food court" of this particular Walmart, and they got some Nachos with Jalepenos. They fed me one. My mouth about fell off my face and I cried inconsolably, from what I can remember. I think this is where my aversion to chiles in the past has come from.

I knew going into this quarter, however, that there would be no getting around eating chiles. I would have to face this "fear" head on. This was one reason I asked right off the bat this morning to prepare the Stuffed Chiles. After roasting the chiles, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and let them sit for a bit to loosen the skin. Then I peeled them, cut off the tops, and stuffed them. After sticking toothpicks in them to keep the lids back on, I dipped them in flour, then an egg white tempura batter, and then into the fryer they went. Once they were a light brown, out they came and they were sprinkled with salt.

The Walnut Sauce that is served with them is simply walnuts, milk, cream, bread, and queso fresco (a deliciously salty, crumbly cheese) all pureed together. Holy. Moly. This was an absolutely tasty sauce that I'm sure I will incorporate into other dishes. The saltiness of the outside of the chiles, the slightly spicy flavor of the chile, and the tartness of the fruit inside the chile was rounded out perfectly by the mellow, creamy flavor of the Walnut Sauce. I ate a chile and a half.

I have adored the food so far this quarter. Let's see what week 4 holds!


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