Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid
Episode: Day of the Dead
45 min
30 min
15 min
8 to 10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin beef
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dried apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup acitron, or sweetened dried pineapple, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups walnuts, peeled* see Cook's Note
  • 2 1/2 cups Mexican crema
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • Salt
  • 10 poblano chiles, charred, peeled, left whole for stuffing
  • Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


In a medium heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the pork, ground sirloin, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper and cook at medium heat until meat loses its pink color and is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add the dried apples, apricots, and sweetened pineapple and remove from the heat. Add the ground cinnamon and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Set aside. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and discard.

Sauce: Put the walnuts, Mexican crema and goat cheese in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and silky, about 2 minutes. Sauce should coat the back of a spoon. (If the sauce is too thin, add more walnuts and puree. If too thick, add more cream.) Season with salt, to taste.

Cut a lengthwise slit into each chile and carefully cut out seeds with kitchen shears, leaving the stem intact. (For less spice, carefully remove the veins.)

Spoon the filling into the chiles, then close, slightly overlapping the sides of the openings. Transfer the stuffed chiles, seam sides up, to plates and pour about 1/3 cup the walnut sauce over each chile, leaving some of the chile visible. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Cook's Note: To peel the walnuts: Cook in boiling water for 1 minute and drain. When cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to remove the skins. Peeling the walnuts before adding them to the sauce will make a smoother, whiter sauce. Unpeeled walnuts can be used, but the texture will be a little grainy and slightly bitter.

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