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Annabelle Breakey Photo by: Annabelle Breakey

Green Chiles Stuffed with Almonds and Raisins

This dish softens the chiles' heat with raisins, nuts, spices, and a slightly sweet tomato sauce. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 3/4 hours. Notes: Queso fresco is a mild, crumbly Mexican cheese sold in Latin markets and some supermarkets. You can substitute farmer's cheese or feta.

Sunset SEPTEMBER 2007

  • Yield: Makes 5 or 6 servings (serving size: 3 chiles)
  • Total:1 Hour, 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 15 to 18 fresh green New Mexico or Anaheim chiles
  • 1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (see Notes)
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Preparation

1. Slice off chile stems. With a spoon or melon baller, reach into chiles to scoop out and discard seeds and white membranes (avoid slitting chiles); set chiles aside. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, toast all the almonds, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3. Add oil to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Mince 4 garlic cloves and add to pan along with onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add beef, 1 tsp. salt, the cinnamon, cumin, and pepper and cook, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, until beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add raisins and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs, oregano, 1/3 cup toasted almonds, and queso fresco. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes; remove from heat.

4. Carefully pack each chile with filling. Arrange chiles in a large baking pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until chiles are browned and beginning to blister.

5. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large frying pan over medium heat, bring tomatoes, honey, remaining 4 garlic cloves, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt to a gentle simmer. Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup toasted almonds. Transfer to a blender, add 1/2 cup water, and whirl sauce until very smooth, about 1 minute. Drizzle sauce over chiles and serve warm.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Cooking with chiles

This recipe is best when made with New Mexico chiles, preferably northern varieties such as Chimayo. Anaheim chiles, which are a New Mexico variety, are widely available throughout the West and make a fine substitute for northern green chiles—roast them over a stovetop burner or under a broiler to blacken the skins. (And if you're sensitive to chiles, wear gloves when handling.) Canned green chiles just don't cut it here.

See “Finding New Mexico Chiles,â€Â� (below) for mail-order sources.

Finding New Mexico chiles

Native Seeds/SEARCH. Grow northern New Mexico chiles from heirloom seeds. www.nativeseeds.org or 866/622-5561.

New Mexican Connection. We couldn't find a reliable mail-order source for roasted northern green chiles, but we did find good roasted Sandia chiles here. $56 for 5 lbs., including shipping; www.newmexicanconnection.com or 800/933-2736.

Santa Fe Farmers Market. The best place to find northern New Mexico chiles, both fresh and dried. Various locations and hours; contact www.santafefarmersmarket.com or 505/983-4098.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 568
  • Calories from fat: 52%
  • Protein: 31g
  • Fat: 33g
  • Saturated fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrate: 40g
  • Fiber: 4.4g
  • Sodium: 1202mg
  • Cholesterol: 76mg
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Green Chiles Stuffed with Almonds and Raisins recipe

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