Chiles N’ Nogada

preparing the chilies for Chili RellenosRoasting the Chiles on open flame

If you have ever been to the Casa then you know that one of the many highlights of the experience is having the privilege to indulge yourself in chef Rubys’ cuisine. A true artist of the palate, she daily creates a traditional Mexican Cuisine with a twist. She transforms fresh ingredients, vegetables, and fruits along with fresh farmer cheeses and cacoeque(sp?), (a delicious sweet, home made sour cream, similar to creme fresh, that she brings with her  from her home in the Mountains 40 minutes from the Casa), into delectable lacto/ovo vegetarian Mexican meals.

Ruby teaching a cooking class

Ruby teaching a cooking class at the Casa

Another highlight is on Fridays, Ruby graciously the Casa kitchen to all our guests that want to take advantage of her knowledge and experience her charm, with a cooking class. Gathering around the kitchen “cooking island” with a glass of wine, a cold beer, or the days aquas fruitas, (fruit juice), guests learn to make various salsas, guacamole, (everyone has their own recipe), how to make and “throw” a tortilla and then a different main entree. Often times it is the special Mexican Independence Day fiesta dish, (red, white and green, like the flag) – Chiles n’ Nogada. This is typically a dish that comes out in the fall, for the celebration, so all the traditional ingredients are not always available at the Casa workshops, (Dec. though March). Ruby being the true artist of the kitchen that she is, makes do with improvisation and substitution, so although her recipe here may not be totally “traditional” – it is always delicious! It is rumored that Chiles n Nogada was a favorite dish of Diego Rivera that Frida Kahlo would prepare for him. There are lots of smiles and laughter in Rubys’ kitchen, (even when there is not a cooking class), and the best part of cooking class is – we all get to eat the results for lunch! 

Participant with Ruby in cooking class

Chiles n’ Nogada – This Recipe Feeds 12, (modify accordingly) :

To begin, roast 12 Poblano peppers on an open flame of a stove, (you could presumably broil them in the oven), remembering to flip and turn them regularly. you want to get the skins charred black so that after the next step, you can easily… remove the charred skins, scraping them with a spoon, (see photo above).

As each is roasted you place them into a plastic bag, this is to “sweat” the peppers so that you can easily rub the charred skins off.

Prepare the Stuffing:

Fry textured soy protein, (250 grams) in about 3 tablespoons of oil or butter, (you can also use the more traditional chopped meat, pork or chicken).
Chop into small cubes: 2 Apples, 1 and 1/2 peaches, 1/4 cup cubed dried candied aqave, (you could also use candied pineapple or mango).  Add to cooked soy along with 100 grams of chopped almonds and 100 grams of raisins and mix well.

Stuff the chiles with the mixture, place on a tray in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Nogada Sauce: In a blender place 1/4 onion, 1 large clove garlic, 1 can medium cream, 2 cans of evaporated milk, 1/4 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts, 1/2 block of cream cheese – blend. In a sauce pan put three tablespoons of butter and brown 1/2 kilo of maseca, (corn), flour and then add the sauce from the blender.

Remove Chiles from the oven, place each one on a plate, pour a healthy dose of the Nogada sauce on the chile, garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans, pomegranate seeds, and a sprinkle of minced cilantro. – Enjoy!