Speaking of spicy food - chiles en nogada (and more)

Reply Sun 25 Oct, 2009 12:06 pm

Chiles en nogada velvety warm treat for holiday
Jacqueline Higuera McMahan
Sunday, October 25, 2009

see article for lead info..

Quoting -
Pork-Stuffed Poblano Chiles
Serves 4 as a main dish

This is my version of chiles en nogada. It can be prepared ahead, then heated just before serving. Serve with white rice to absorb all the juices.

8 very fresh large poblano chiles (also called pasilla), charred, peeled, and seeded
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
1 teaspoon kosher salt + pinch more for adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon pureed chipotle en adobo (see Note)
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
1/4 cup apricot jam
3/4 cup Mexican crema + some milk if necessary (see Note)
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup golden raisins plumped in hot water and drained
2 firm pears, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons toasted, slivered almonds
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
-- Parsley leaves, for garnish
Instructions: Prepare the poblano chiles by charring them over a flame. You can use the broiler but be careful not to overchar them. The contained heat of the oven also makes the chiles cook through more than if you use a burner. Cover the charred chiles with a damp paper towel and steam for 10 minutes before slipping off the blackened skins.

Using a small, sharp knife, cut a slit along one side of chile. Reach in and pull out the seed pod which is tightly nestled right under the stem. You can use small scissors to cut it out. If you are capsaicin-sensitive, use gloves for this operation. Remove all of the random seeds from the insides. Set aside the cleaned chiles.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Mist a small roasting pan with oil. Rub the tenderloin with salt and pepper. Combine the chipotle, agave syrup, jam and a pinch of salt. Brush lightly over the tenderloin, top and bottom, and place in the roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes; brush all surfaces of tenderloin with the chipotle mixture and roast for 15-20 minutes longer. You want a deeply caramelized surface, but don't overcook the tenderloin. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the tenderloin is cooling, combine walnuts and crema. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little milk. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Dice the tenderloin and combine with the raisins, diced pears and almonds.

Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Open up each poblano chile carefully and try to fit in about 1/2 cup of the pork filling. Arrange the stuffed chiles in the baking dish, slit side up. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake chiles, uncovered, just until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the walnut sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and a few leaves of parsley.

Note: I often puree a whole can of chipotles en adobo, including the seeds, in my food processor. The combination of pureed chipotle, agave syrup and apricot jam is so good that I make it up in larger batches just to have on hand. It is great brushed onto grilled chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Mexican crema is available from Latino grocers.

Per serving: 587 calories, 34 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 30 g fat (5 g saturated), 76 mg cholesterol, 623 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.

Chiles Stuffed With Caramelized Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
These can be prepared ahead and baked just before serving.

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
-- Kosher salt to taste, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
6 poblano (pasilla) or Anaheim chiles, charred, peeled and seeded
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Instructions: Combine the sweet potatoes, salt, bay leaf, olive oil, vinegar and peppercorns in a large pot. Add water to cover, about 6 to 8 cups. Bring to a boil (this might take 10 minutes) and simmer for 15 minutes or until barely tender. Drain. Place sweet potatoes on cutting board, and slice 1/2-inch thick. Pull off skin and discard.

Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottom saute pan (this doesn't work well with a non-stick skillet). When hot, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil, and heat. Arrange sweet potato slices in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, without turning, for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Resist fooling with them, because the best part is the sweet caramelization in the crust that forms on the bottom. Turn the slices with tongs and caramelize the other side for about 4 minutes more.

Remove the slices to a plate and sprinkle lightly with salt and the fresh thyme. Cut the slices in half and stuff into the chile cavities. Arrange in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle each chile with some of the cheese. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the chiles for about 12 minutes (longer if refrigerated), or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 183 calories, 5 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat (4 g saturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Any more spicy recipes out there?
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