Traditionally, this dish is made with a fresh walnut sauce instead of the simple almond sauce included here. If super fresh walnuts are available, you can substitute them for the almonds, but you may want to peel off the thin brown skin to keep the sauce as white as possible. A garnish of pomegranate seeds makes a stunning presentation.
Makes 8 stuffed chiles with 3 cups sauce
- 8 very large poblano chiles, with stems intact
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ pounds coarsely ground lean pork
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large (about 8 ounces) crisp apple (such as Braeburn), peeled, cored, diced small
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Frontera Jalapeño-Cilantro Salsa
- 2 cups (8 ounces) blanched almonds
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 slice firm white bread, crusts removed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry sherry
- ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
- Cilantro or parsley sprigs
- To roast the chiles, place chiles directly over the gas flame or on a medium hot charcoal or gas grill. Roast, turning occasionally, until blistered and blackened on all sides but not soft, about 5 minutes. Place the chiles in a large bowl and cover loosely with a towel until they are cool enough to handle. Leave the stems on and carefully peel away the skin from each chile. Lightly cut a slit vertically down one side of each chile so you can use your fingers to carefully remove the seeds. The chiles are now ready for stuffing.
- For the stuffing, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple and cook 2 minutes. Stir in Salsa; cook until salsa is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely.
- For sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients except for the heavy cream in a Vitamix or heavy-duty blender. Blend until the sauce is as smooth as possible. Ideally, when you rub some sauce between your fingers, it should not be gritty. Once your sauce is pureed, add the cream to the blender and blend just until combined. Set the sauce aside at room temperature while you stuff and warm the chiles.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. To stuff the chiles, pack enough stuffing in them to completely fill and form them back to their original shape. Lay on a baking sheet, seam side down. Warm in the oven until completely heated through, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the heated chiles from the baking sheet onto individual plates. Spoon some of the room temperature sauce over the top, garnish with cilantro or parsley sprigs. Serve.
NOTES: The stuffing and chiles can be prepared a couple of days in advance; refrigerate both covered. Do not stuff the chiles until the day that you will be serving them. The sauce can be made one day in advance. Be sure to bring it back to room temperature before serving.