Stuffed Chiles with Walnut Sauce (Vegetarian)

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Stuffed Chiles:
12 large poblano chiles
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium-sized white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 lb. assorted mushrooms, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped
1 20-oz. can tomato purée
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried mango or papaya
3 Tbs. oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Walnut Sauce:
2 cups low-fat sour cream or Mexican creme
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbs. vegetarian Worchestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)

1 fresh pomegranate, seeded (about 1/2 cup seeds)


To make Stuffed Chiles:
Preheat oven to broil. Place chiles on ungreased baking sheet. Broil 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until blackened. Transfer to bowl, cover with towel and cool.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until transparent. Stir in mushrooms, garlic and jalapeños, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are brown and crispy.

Add remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Set aside. Peel chiles, then cut slits down sides, and remove seeds and veins. Fill with mushroom mixture, and set in large baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until party time.

To make Walnut Sauce:
Put all ingredients in blender or food processor, and pulse until just combined but still chunky.

To serve:
Preheat oven to 350F. Heat chiles in their foil-covered dish 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to serving platter, top with Walnut Sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Makes 12 stuffed chiles.