September is all about Mexico! We celebrate our independence on September 16th and, traditionally, the night of the 15th, a special party known as “Mexican Night” is held in homes all over the country.
Mexican Nights are all about mexicanismos; Mexican music is played while enjoying Mexican cuisine samples. Usually the hostess will show off her abilities in the kitchen by cooking special meals like pozole, sopes, tostadas and, if she wants to get fancy, she might try something like chiles en nogada. Chiles en nogada are internationally considered to be one of the finest and most representative dishes in Mexican cuisine.
A chile en nogada is a “Chile Poblano” stuffed with picadillo (made with ground beef) and fruits. It’s covered with walnut cream, basil and pomegranate seeds. This dish was created by Agustine nuns from Santa Monica’s convent in Puebla paying homage to Agustín de Iturbide when he arrived to Puebla after signing the Treaty of Córdoba, which granted Mexico its independence, in Córdoba, Veracruz. Chiles en nogada are a seasonal dish, since walnuts are harvested during the months of July, August and September. You could save walnuts and use them at any time of the year but it will affect the taste. Using fresh walnuts will elevate the cost but it is totally worth it.
This dish is full of symbolism; it’s traditionally believed that the place used to celebrate the arrival of Agustín de Iturbide was decorated with elements containing the three colors of the emerging Mexican flag that Iturbide created himself (Green [independence], white [religion], and red [union]). Iturbide was also celebrating his birthday so the nuns decided to create a dish that also had the three colors of the Mexican flag and they mixed salty and sweet flavors with more than 20 ingredients. Nowadays, this number can rise up to 50 different ingredients depending on how sophisticated the Chef wants to get.
Don’t miss the opportunity to try a marvelous traditional Mexican dish, visiting Hacienda Sisal where we will be offering chiles en nogada during September!