16 September 2012

Eating Mexico (El Grito de la Independencia) - Dos Caminos Park Avenue (New York City)

September 16th marks Mexican Independence Day.  In honor of this day I returned to Dos Camino's Annual Mexican Independence Day Cooking Class with Executive Chef Ivy Stark.  It was a fantastic reunion of friends I met last year and the opportunity to make new friends--a stripper/art venture capitalist and a few teachers!  I will have to share that story another time.

The Dos Camino's team lined up another good menu which included:

  • Aqua de Tarmindo - taramind agua fresca
  • Cazuela de Guadalajara - tequila and tropical fruit punch
  • Mexico City Style Huitlacoche Quesadillas - salsa verde cruda, mexican crema
  • Chiles en Nogada - poblano chiles with fresh walnut sauce and pomegranate
  • Sweet Corn Tres Lesches Cake - pineapple butterscotch, sweet corn-blueberry swirl ice cream
The food as always was fantastic!
I wanted to share the recipe for the Chiles en Nogada for several reasons;
  • It tastes delicious
  • It looks pretty
  • I said I was going to try to make it last year and never did so now I have no choice!
This dish represents the beginning of fall and the Mexican flag.  It is fun, colorful and absolutely mouth watering.  While I was eating this dish it made me think about what it would it be like to taste Mexico and Chiles en Nogada is exactly how I imagine Mexico should taste.  If you want to taste Mexico follow chef Ivy Stark's recipe below:

   For the chile and filling:
   10 medium to large poblano chiles
   4 pounds of ground beef, turkey, chicken (your choice)
   1 large onion diced
   4 garlic cloves minced
   1/2 cup raisins re-hydrated in 1 cup of dry sherry
   1 cup of diced fruit (apples, pears, peaches & apricots) - you can use one or all
   1/2 cup toasted almonds
   1/2 cup pine nuts
   2 tablespoons orange zest or preserved orange peel
   1 teaspoon ground canela, Mexican cinnamon, or the other kind will work

  1. Poblano chiles are best roasted over an open flame.  You can use a broiler, grill, etc.  Cook until the skin begins to blister and turn black.  The chiles need to be charred evenly; including the ends.  Place chiles in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap until cool.  Peel chiles carefully so they do not break or split.  To clean the chiles cut a 2 inch slit starting at the stem end.  Carefully open the slit with a paring knife and remove all the seeds.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground meat of your choice in small batches.  Do not overload the pan because this will cause the meat to boil and not brown.  Season to taste, drain the fat and reserve.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and add the garlic and onions and saute until they are translucent.  Next add your fruit mixture and cook slightly.  Bring the raisins and sherry to a simmer and let cool.  Fold the meat with the fruit mixture and raisins (reserve the sherry for the sauce) and all other ingredients.
  4. Fill each chile with about 4 ounces of filling
  5. Eat and enjoy.  Now you have a little taste of Mexico!
Chile en Nogada
Happy Mexican Independence Day!!

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