September calls for a chile!

Monday, September 20, 2021

September is an important month in Mexico because it’s when Mexican Independence is celebrated, and while this happens only on September 16th, the whole month is full of typical food and dishes available only in this period. For example the famous “Chile en Nogada”. 

What is a chile en nogada?

Yeah… it’s no secret that we, Mexican love chiles, and this one is amazing. 
It basically is a poblano chile stuffed with picadillo topped with a walnut-based creamy sauce called nogada (hence the name) and pomegranate seeds. 
What is picadillo? Another Spanish word for another dish, made of shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices.
All this together make up the perfect chile en nogada.
This is in general words what it is, you can always search for a recipe online to see what exactly has, and maybe try to prepare one. 

Or… you can search for a place that prepares chiles en nogada just like I did this weekend. 

The Place

Searching online we found this place called “Casa Tijuana Project” near Tijuana’s soccer stadium. 
It is a small place, which feels more like a home because of how small it is and the cozy decoration.
I liked how every table was different from one another. 

The menu is not too big. It is actually simple, but creative and from what I read, it keeps changing through the seasons. 

This time we were seated on the newly renovated second floor. 

The Dish

Obviously, I had chile en nogada as the main dish, but before I get to that, I first got a soup I’ve been craving for a while. 
I ordered a Mexican noodle soup or sopa de fideos in Spanish. 

This is also a classic Mexican dish and every Abuela knows how to make it. It’s just the pasta in a tomato and chipotle broth, and this version also had northern potatoes and a piece of dry meat. 
It did not disappoint me. 

And the star of the evening:

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, this recipe is not hard, but it’s tricky due to the ingredients for the picadillo inside the chile, and those to make the sauce. 
It also takes skill to prepare the inside of the chile so it is not spicy. 

I can confidently say this Chile was perfect. It wasn't spicy at all, the stuffing had the right ingredients, the sauce on top was sweet and not too liquid. And the best, the size was more than perfect, in fact, it was bigger than expected. 

While I arrived at this place because I was searching specifically for a chile en nogada, my experience was great and delicious that it left me wanting to come back and try something else, because sadly the chile en nogada was a season special dish and last Sunday was the last day available in the menu for this year. 
But the rest of the menu certainly looks amazing…

Fun fact: this dish is tied to the independence of Mexico since it is said they were prepared for the first time to entertain the future emperor Agustín de Iturbide when he arrived to Puebla after the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba.

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