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Chiles en Nogada

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On the Road

When I was in Mexico City last fall, I ate pretty well, if you know what I mean. One of the highlights of autumn cooking is the new crop of walnuts and all over Mexico City (and later in the week, in Puebla) was the incredibly indulgent dish of Chiles en Nogada.

At Café Azul y Oro, the wonderful restaurant of chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, the waiter comes by with a plate of stuffed Poblano chiles and the diner (in this case, me) chooses which chile will be consumed.

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Next comes the insanely rich walnut sauce.

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To help with the richness, pomegranite seeds are sprinkled over the top.

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Is there a more beautiful dish? I've had it many times and often, especially in Puebla, it's also battered and deep-fried. It's fine but the chile gets lost, if you ask me. This was just about the most perfect version I've had. The stuffing was a traditional picadillo (normally translated as hash, which isn't quite right) but it wasn't too sweet, as is often the case.

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This was the first meal of my trip and it was a hard one to top.

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If you are a dedicated Chiles en Nogada fan, you'll want to get the book by Martha Chapas, CON SABOR A PATRIA: CHILES EN NOGADA PARA TODA LA TEMPORADA.



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