Recipe by Carolyn Malcoun
This traditional dish hails from the Mexican state of Puebla, and the colors of a finished plate represent the Mexican flag: green chilies (stuffed with pork, apples, raisins and spices), a white walnut cream sauce and a crown of bright red pomegranate seeds. A lambic kiss brings out the fillingâ€™s fruit and nicely echoes the pomegranate seeds.
- 6 medium Poblano chilies
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2/3 cup lambic, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 small tart apple, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish
• Roast the chilies (see box), place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand.
• Cook the pork, onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until the pork is browned, about 10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup lambic and raisins; bring to a lively simmer and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the oregano, cinnamon and allspice. Add the apple and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat.
• Place the walnuts in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a blender with the milk and remaining 1/3 cup lambic. Purée until very smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible from the solids; discard the solids. Clean the saucepan and return the sauce to the pan. Whisk in the sour cream. Add the cream cheese and heat over medium-low, whisking occasionally, until the cream cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Cover and set aside.
• Carefully peel the chilies, leaving the stems intact, and cut a slit down the middle. Remove the seeds. Reheat the walnut sauce and/or filling, if necessary. Fill each chili with about 1/3 cup of the pork mixture. Arrange each stuffed chili on a plate and ladle about 1/4 cup of the sauce over each. Serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, if desired.