Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Traditional Taste for Cinco De Mayo


If you're planning a fiesta for this year's Cinco de Mayo, there's a dish you must try!  Chef Barbara Sibley with famed restaurant La Palapa in New York City stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her Chile Relleno recipe that's sure to have your guests partying! Chef Barbara says she starts with roasted Poblano peppers.  She then stuffs them with a sauteed ground beef and pork mix, combined with pine nuts, apples, almonds, raisins and sometimes even candied pineapple!  Barbara says the sauce you top it with consists of walnuts, ricotta and heavy cream.  It's a cool sauce that goes on something pretty hot! She finishes by topping the peppers with pomegrate seeds and parsley.  Muy bueno!

Serves 6, makes 12 chiles
Roasting Chiles Poblanos
12 chiles poblanos
  1. Wash and dry chiles
  2. Roast chiles for about 10 to 15 minutes until the skin is blistered and charred all over. They can be roasted over a gas burner holding the chiles with tongs and turning them toward the flame to blister the skin. This can also be done on the grill. To char the chiles under the broiler place the chiles on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast about 4 inches from broiler. Turn the chiles so that they char evenly all around.
  3. Place the hot chiles in a bowl with plastic wrap or a moistened towel over it. Allow the chiles to steam in the bowl for about 15 minutes. Use your fingers or a small knife to peel off the skin. It should come off very easily.
  4. Be careful when cutting into hot chiles as the steam inside will be full of the capsaicin oil and can burn.
Cook's Note: Fresh Raw Chiles
When buying fresh chiles, choose ones that have firm flesh and no breaks or wrinkles on the skin. Most chiles are harvested with the stems on and this keeps the chiles fresh longer. They should be rinsed before use or washed with a food safe soap as some chiles are processed with wax, similar to apples, to extend their shelf life. Raw chiles should be stored in the refrigerator in a loosely closed plastic bag. Raw chiles have a tough skin and often they are roasted to remove the skin before using them for rajas, chile strips, or for stuffing. This is can be done best with JalapeƱos or Poblanos.
1 lb beef ground
1 lb pork ground
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 poblano chiles, deveined and chopped, about ½ a cup
1 medium onion chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 stick of Mexican cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
¼  cup corn oil
¼  cup candied pineapple
¼  cup raisins, plumped in sherry or warm water
¼  cup pine nuts
¼  cup almonds slivered
1/2 cup diced peeled apples
salt to taste
Sprigs Italian Parsley
½ cup pomegranate
  1. In a saute pan with the 3 tablespoons of oil saute the onion and garlic until soft over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the poblanos, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, cilantro, cinamon, and cloves and continue to cook until they release their juices. Add the pork and beef  and saute until the meat is cooked through.
  3. Add the pineapple, raisins, pine nuts, almonds and apples and continue to saute until the apples soften.
  4. Taste and add salt if needed.
Salsa Nogada
1 cup walnuts soaked/peeled
1/2 cup Queso Fresco
3 Tablespoons sherry
½ teaspoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream
  1. Soak the walnuts in 2 cups of warm water for 20 mintues. Remove from the water and remove as much is the brown skin that covers the walnuts as possible.
  2. In a food processor or blender place the walnuts, queso fresco, sherry and sugar. Blend until creamy.
  3. Whip the heavy cream as if to make whipped cream.
  4. Fold the walnut mixture and whipped cream together.
To serve the chiles place them on a platter with a dollop of the nogadaa parsley sprig and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.