Chorizo Stuffed Chiles in Walnut Sauce

I love quirky.

I like quirky places, quirky food, quirky people, quirky books and quirky films.  (In fact, I like to imagine that I embody a bit if quirkiness.)   I seem to especially like films that embody a bit of fantasy and are  just a little odd.



You can imagine what I thought of this month’s feature for Food ‘n Flix:  Like Water for Chocolate.   I thought the film did a great job capturing the spirit of the novel by Laura Esquivel.    It had been a number of years since I read the book and I was quite pleased with myself that I was actually able to find my copy in the stacks and stacks of books in the back room.   (I am still searching for an old Georgia O’Keeffe biography that I am sure that I have.   It must be stacked in the closet.  I didn’t find it in this search.)  I wanted to have copies of the recipes to refer to as I watched the film.


I soon was too absorbed in the film to flip through the novel.   I cannot imagine a sweeter character than Tita.   And, I can’t imagine a more unsympathetic and bitter character than that of Mama Elena.

I adored the characters in the novel, but on the screen, I was a bit annoyed with their actions.   Now, I sympathized with Tita, but I wanted to just shake her at times and tell her to “Snap outta’ it!” and leave her feelings for Pedro behind. Maybe it was the casting of a baby-faced Pedro, but seriously, I didn’t see the appeal.   In the novel, however, I remember cheering them on and hoping things would turn out for these star-crossed lovers.

To round out the food in the film, we see the following:

  • Christmas Rolls, a kind of chorizo-sardine-onion-and-chile sloppy joe.   Nacha brings these to Tita and tries to get her to eat to forget her love troubles.
  • Chabela Wedding Cake, a simple cake with lime zest.   But, don’t forget the secret ingredient—tears of the jilted, sure to make your wedding guests remember the day always.
  • Quail in Rose Petal Sauce, a dish so sensual and erotic that it can cause one to burn with desire.
  • Cream Fritters, a light and delicious dessert.  These were delicious enough that Gertrudis requests these upon her brief visit and tasks one of her soldiers to make them.
  • Three Day King’s Bread, a wonderful looking holiday bread that guests were eager to eat.
  • Chiles in Walnut Sauce, a suberb looking dish with a marvelous presentation.

Finally, there is the recipe for making matches which figures into the final resolution of love at the end of the film.    (There are other recipes mentioned in the novel, but the above dishes were what spoke to me from the film.)

I decided to challenge myself and make the Chiles in Walnut Sauce, or Chiles en Nogada.    If you’ve read the book, you know that the preparations for these dishes are woven throughout the narration, so I found a recipe here that was a little more user friendly.


Tita prepared and presented this dish like a Top Chef, making sure that every pomegranate seed was in the correct spot and wiping the dish before presenting it to her diners.


Chorizo Stuffed Chiles in  Walnut Sauce 
Based on Chiles en Nogada from Melissa Guerra

Prepare Chiles:
4 fresh poblano peppers  (Do not remove stems.)
1 lb. fresh chorizo
1 c. white onion, minced
1  Granny Smith apple, peeled and minced
1  T. golden raisins
2 small Roma tomatoes,  seeded and chopped
1/2 c. water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For Sauce:
2 T.  butter
2 oz. unsalted walnuts
2 oz. unsalted pecans
2 oz. blanched unsalted almonds
4 oz. cotija, finely crumbled
1 ½ c. half-and-half
Sea salt to taste

Wash the chiles well, and roast directly on a gas flame, or under a broiler. Once the chiles have blistered and blackened, place them in a large mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow to steam and cool for about 20 minutes. Remove them from the bowl, and then carefully peel the chiles using your fingers. You can use a paring knife to scrape off any loose peel. Slit the chile lengthwise, turning out the interior bulb of the stem where the seeds are attached.  Remove the seeds either by scraping them out, or by cutting out the bulb, while leaving the stem intact. Rinse the chiles to remove any stray bits of charred skin or clingy seeds. Set aside.

Brown the fresh chorizo, onions and apple.   When chorizo is beginning to brown, onions are beginning to turn translucent,  and apples are soft, add raisins and tomatoes.   Stir in the water and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a separate sauté pan, make the sauce.  Melt the butter. Add all of the nuts, and allow to brown for about 7 minutes over medium heat, carefully watching that they do not scorch. Once browned, add the nut mixture to a food processor.   As the nuts are processed, add the half-and-half  to make a smooth sauce. Return the sauce to the pan, salt to taste, add any remaining half and half, the cotija, and heat gently for about 10 minutes as you prepare the chiles.

Fill each of the chiles with about a quarter of  the meat mixture, and place on a platter with the chile open.  A bit of the filling may spill out.
Serves 4 as a main course.

This chile dish looks so beautiful in the film with the carefully placed pomegranate seeds used for a garnish.   Pomegranates were not to be had in my grocery store in Oklahoma in July.   I probably could have found arils at Whole Foods in Tulsa, but I didn’t want to make the trip.   So, I served my chiles over-stuffed and open-faced, if you will.

2014-07-25 18.57.23

And, besides not having a beautiful ruby gem garnish, the picture sucks, too.  🙁    Rest assured, though, they were delicious.  (I had quite a bit of sauce left and my thoughts are to toss it with some pasta later.)

Although my food probably wouldn’t stand up to Tita’s, I was pleased with the result.

Thanks to Elizabeth at The Law Student’s Cookbook for hosting this month.   If you feel like joining Food ‘n Flix for August, grab a copy of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs  and play along.

For all my Food ‘n Flix posts, click here.



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