Each year I use the pomegranates left over from Christmas decorations to make "Chiles in Walnut Sauce". A recipe from the book "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquirel.
"Like Water for Chocolate" was the best selling book in Mexico in 1990. It was also made into a film. I loved both the book and the film. It is a romantic story about love that can never be and also about the joy of cooking for the people you love. The kitchen scenes - oooohhh la la! Each chapter gives a recipe at the beginning and then weaves it's way around to the art of cooking said recipe.
To follow up the Chiles in Walnut Sauce - I pulled out another of my favorite cookbooks, "Mexican Cookbook" by Erna Fergusson, published by The University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico 1945. I found this cookbook in a thrift store - it was like finding gold. I paid 50 cents for it. There are handwritten notations on many of the pages.
So anyway - Natillas for dessert. Natillas are similar to Ile Flottante. I used Vanilla Bean Paste instead of Vanilla Extract. You can also add a little toasted coconut.

25 chiles poblanas
8 pomegranates
100 cashew nuts
100 grams aged fresh cheese
1 kilo ground steak
100 grams raisins
1/4 kilo almonds
1/4 kilo walnuts
1/2 kilo tomatoes
2 medium onions
2 candied citrons
1 peach
1 apple
white pepper
heavy cream

As you can see this serves a large group! I usually make it for 4 to 6 servings. The instructions take up an entire chapter including shelling the nuts and peeling the skins off the walnuts.
A shorter version:

Roast and peel the chiles - Remove seeds - set aside
Saute onions in a little bit of olive oil until translucent
Add the ground steak and spices. Cook until browned then add the raisins, chopped tomatoes, citrons, peach and apple.
Stuff the chiles with the steak mixture.

Walnut Sauce
Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until they are finely ground.
Heat the heavy cream until just warm enough to melt the shredded cheese. Add the ground nuts to the sauce.

Spoon the Walnut Sauce over the stuffed chiles and garnish with Pomegranate seeds.


5 eggs
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 cups scalded milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the yolks of the 5 eggs, and the whites of 2 eggs slightly. add the granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon and slowly pour in the scalded milk. Cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Add the vanilla. Pour in a deep dish or custard cups.
Beat very stiff the whites of the remaining eggs. Add powdered sugar. Drop by spoonfuls on a pan of boiling water and steam until firm. Top the custard with meringue and dust with cinnamon.

Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman

Sotto Il Monte Vineyards