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Celebrate Mexican Independence Day with Chiles en Nogada!

September 13, 2019
Margarita Carrillo Arronte, Mexico : the Cookbook (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2014), 397. [TX716.M4 C37 2014]

As you are preparing for your family’s Mexican Independence Day dinner this Monday evening, consider making one of these chiles en nogada recipes. Chiles en nogada, or chiles in walnut sauce, is one of the more patriotic dishes you can make, with all of the colors of the Mexican flag represented without any alterations to the dish. Not only does this dish look patriotic, it was also created around the same time Mexico became an independent nation. As Palazuelos and Tausend note in their book México the Beautiful Cookbook,

This dish…was created by the imaginative Augustine nuns of Puebla for a visit by Mexico’s very own emperor, Don Agustín de Iturbide, who, after the War of Independence, lasted a mere eleven months in office.

Susanna Palazuelos, Marilyn Tausend, and Laurie Gruenbeck, México the Beautiful Cookbook : Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Mexico (San Francisco: Collins Publishers, 1991), 214. [TX716 .M4 P35 1991]
Susanna Palazuelos, Marilyn Tausend, and Laurie Gruenbeck, México the Beautiful Cookbook : Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Mexico (San Francisco: Collins Publishers, 1991), 215. [TX716 .M4 P35 1991]

In addition to being patriotic, chiles en nogada is also seasonally-appropriate as it is often served in August and September when walnuts are at their ripest. If you are wanting to produce a more traditional dish, you may want to soak the walnuts overnight in milk, which would require you to start your preparations on Sunday. The recipes provided here will give you options for more traditional preparation, faster prep, and a vegetarian option as well. The vegetarian recipe comes from El Cocinero Vegetariano, which was written in Spanish, so our Student Clerk, Carla Burgos, kindly translated it for those who need an English translation. Vegans can use an egg replacer and sub vegan cream cheese and milk for this recipe. Click on the links below to download the recipes transcribed by Carla:

Not feeling like chiles en nogada? Our now-defunct blog La Cocina Histórica featured several patriotic dishes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s book Los 365 Menus del Año in a 2015 post about Mexican Independence Day. See all the recipes here:

If you try one of these recipes, let us know in the comments how it turned out!

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