About 8 years ago at a collaboration dinner at Solare Ristorante located in Point Loma I was invited by my friend Chef Accursio to sign up for the beta test group for Chef's Roll. Immediately, Chef's Roll became a synonym for having a pool of amazing chefs from around the US, and soon thereafter as their tagline says, they became a Global Culinary Community, featuring chefs from around the world, events, contests and the latest in the world of chefs and their environment. It was because of Chef's Roll I was scouted to audition by the production team at Cutthroat Kitchen. Most of you already know that I actually made it into one of their episodes back in 2016. Year after year, Chef's Roll continues to feature cooking contests in collaboration with various groups, organizations and products from around the world, some of which I've signed up to be chosen as a contestant. This time I signed up for the #Hatchathome contest and to my surprise I was chosen to be one of the participants from around the US! I received the confirmation email last week as well as a box filled with Hatch chiles from Melissa's Produce so that I can get to experimenting and create my winning dish! After round one at the lab and a few conversations with my Mom about what dish to cook and present in a stunning high resolution picture I decided to go with an inspiration from Chiles En Nogada. Obviously I used Hatch chiles instead of Chiles Poblanos. Below are some of the ingredients.
The first try was good. I used fish as the stuffing for the pepper. It was delicious. However, this morning I decided to stuff the peppers for my picture with leftover carnitas and some of our house mole in addition to the walnut sauce. The result? It was an explosion of flavors. Was it balanced? You may ask. Well, I guess you'll need to try and recreate the flavors with your imagination after seeing the picture below and reading the description of the dish:
Hatch Chile En Nogada, served over house mole and dry fruits and nuts fried rice, with a drizzle of walnut sauce. The heat was mild and sooooo good. I wish you could have had a taste. To make the walnut sauce I soaked the walnuts, banana chips and garlic chips in a dry stout from a local San Diego independent brewery for a few hours, then I rinsed the contents, then I added water and let them soak again until soft before I put them in the blender to turn them into a creamy mixture.
So, this is the picture I will be uploading to Instagram as my official entry. Follow us @cuevabarcafe to follow the story and see if I win.