Chiles En Nogada
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On parchment-lined baking sheet, roast chiles in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip and roast another 10 minutes. The skin should be black in spots and blistered. Remove from the oven and place in a large glass bowl. Cover the bowl with foil and set aside to steam, 30 minutes or until cool.
  3. Peel the walnuts.
  4. Drain the soaking water and peel the brown skin off the nuts. It helps to break the walnut in half, then slowly peel the skin off at the breaking point. Discard the skins.
  5. Combine the peeled nuts with the rest of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Make the stuffing.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, pear and apple, cook for about 4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic, kale, tomatoes, raisins, pine nuts, pepitas, and spices. Stir, coating all ingredients in the spices. Next add the tomato puree and vegetable stock. Continue to cook, stirring frequently as the liquids begin to thicken. Cook until the tomato/stock mixture is fully reduced, sticking to the fruit/veg with no more liquid remaining. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Peel the chiles.
  9. Remove the chiles from the bowl and using the side of a spoon or back of a knife, gently scrape the black/translucent skin off the chiles, being careful not to tear the flesh of the chiles. While keeping the stem on and intact, make a gentle vertical incision in the side of each chile, leaving about an inch or so of space at the top and bottom of the cut. The goal is to cut a hole wide enough to stuff the chile, without cutting the entire chile in half. If your chile tears, do not worry, you can still use it. Remove all the seeds inside.
  10. Assemble
  11. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set the chiles in a 8×8 (or similar size) baking dish with the cut side up. Stuff the chiles with the filling. You can turn your chiles to make the cut side face down, which gives a smoother final appearance, but I like the cut side up so the sauce goes into the filling. Your choice. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until warm, about 15 minutes. While your chiles are warming, gently heat the walnut sauce in a small saucepan over medium. Be careful not to scorch your sauce, and stir frequently. Your sauce should thicken slightly.
  12. Once the chiles are warm, transfer them to plates and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds.
Recipe Notes

As mentioned above, the treatment of the walnuts is labor-intensive. However, all the components of the dish can be made ahead of time. The walnuts must be peeled, or else the sauce will taste bitter. If you’re seeking an even simpler nut sauce, use cashews instead, which do not require peeling. This recipe is written to make two Chiles en Nogada, serving two.