Chiles en Nogada (Stuffed Poblano Chiles in Walnut Sauce)

The poblanos are stuffed with picadillo—a spiced, sweet-salty ground meat mixture found in one form or another throughout Latin America. The "manufacturing cream" called for is a heavy cream with an extra-high fat content (over 40%). It's generally only available to the restaurant trade, so just use a heavy cream with the highest fat content you can find (and don't use "whipping cream," which has a relatively low fat content).

This recipe is from Sarah Rocío Gomez, Executive Chef at Amaranta Cocina Mexicana in Los Angeles.
Country of Origin
Preparation time

Nogada (Walnut Sauce)
2 cups walnut pieces
1 1/2 cup blanched almonds
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup manufacturing cream
1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (preferably Mexican)
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
4 cups peeled and finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup each peeled and finely chopped apple, pear, and peach
1 plantain, diced and deep-fried
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup pine nuts
6 pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (preferably Mexican)
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)


10 large poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
1 pomegranate
3 or 4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs


1. Make the nogada: In a medium bowl, cover walnuts with 3 cups water and soak for 2 hours to rid the nuts of their bitter tannins. Drain and place in a blender with almonds, cream cheese, creams, milk, sherry, cinnamon, sugar, and salt and blend until smooth. Thin with water if necessary. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

2. Meanwhile, make the picadillo: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and ground meats and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook, stirring carefully to avoid the disintegration of the fruit, until the juices have evaporated and the mixture is nearly dry. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

3. When ready to assemble the dish, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet.

4. With small, sharp knife, slit each chile lengthwise, leaving stems intact, to within 1 inch of bottom. Carefully cut out the seed pod. Rinse the chiles under cold running water to remove remaining seeds. Pat dry with paper towels and put on a plate.

5. Stuff each chile with about 1 cup picadillo and close to reshape. Put the stuffed chiles on the baking sheet, cut side up with some of the filling showing. Cover with a loose tent of foil and bake until heated through, about 25 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, halve pomegranate and separate the seeds from the skin. Place the seeds in small bowl.

7. To serve, spoon 1/2 cup of nogada onto each plate. Lay one stuffed chile atop sauce and scatter 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds on top. Garnish with parsley sprigs.