El Pato sauce... is there anything it can't do? It turns plain old ground turkey into delicious picadillo, which gets stuffed; add it to your favorite taco filling; use it as a base for queso dip.
This week's recipe, which features this wunder-sauce, is not a classic chile relleno (it isn't battered with egg and fried) and is not a classic chile en nogada (same deal), but has nods to both. It's easy, it's very flavorful and it's under 300 calories per chile.
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6 fresh pasilla chiles
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 small cans El Pato chile-and-tomato sauce (yellow label)
6 dried apricots, chopped, or 1/4 c. raisins, or a combination
8 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1 package (1.25 lb.) ground lean turkey
1/4 c. roasted walnuts or almonds, ground (available at farmers' markets or Trader Joe's)
1 c. milk
Handful of pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper
1. Roast the peppers over direct heat (set them on the burner of your gas stove or use a barbecue grill) until the skins are blackened.
2. Place the chiles in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic; let steam 5-10 minutes.
3. Peel the chiles (you may want to do this under a trickle of running water), then slit them along one side and remove the seed pod from each one, taking care to leave the stem attached.
4. Put the onions in a skillet with the oil and heat over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
6. Add the coriander, fennel, cumin, cinnamon and cloves and cook until fragrant.
7. Add the El Pato sauce and stir.
8. Add the dried fruit and olives and cook 2-3 minutes.
9. Add the turkey, smashing it down to spread it out, then mixing with the sauce.
10.Heat the milk and stir in the ground nuts, taking care not to let the sauce burn.
11. Correct the seasoning of both the picadillo and the sauce with salt and pepper.
12. Spoon the stuffing into the chiles, arrange on plates, and top with the sauce and pomegranate seeds.