15 Favorite Recipes from Puebla Mexico
Southeast of sprawling Mexico City, in the shadow of the active Popocatépetl volcano, is the city of Puebla, the capital of the state of Puebla. This area in central Mexico has a rich and ancient culinary history. Corn (or maize) was first cultivated here thousands of years ago. Amaranth, too, a recently trendy but ancient grain was first domesticated here. And chocolate? Well, the very word comes to us from the Aztecs, chocolatl, whose ancient empire encompassed the current state of Puebla. You'll also find traditions of Spanish and French influence in the cuisine of the area. Puebla, the city, was built on the busy trade route between Mexico City and the port town of Veracruz. If you're looking to explore some of the best of regional Mexican cuisine, here are some of our favorite authentic recipes from the Puebla region of central Mexico.
“This dish (which translates as ‘poblano strips’) originated in the state of Puebla, but it’s popular all over the country—especially in central and southern Mexico," says Gema. "The original recipe calls for poblano peppers, but it can also be made with other types of fresh green peppers.”
Chiles en Nogada (Mexican Stuffed Poblano Peppers in Walnut Sauce)
"This traditional Mexican dish is from the area of Puebla," says mega2408. "Poblano chiles are stuffed with a flavorful ground pork stuffing, then covered in a creamy walnut sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds and parsley. The long list of ingredients is deceiving — this make ahead dish is quite easy once you have all your ingredients!"
“I learned this recipe from an amazing cook from Puebla," says Gema. "I’ve been perfecting it for over 15 years and realized that it was time to share it when my foodie friends tried to drink the sauce out of the saucepan! I use meat from roasted or baked chickens from the grocery store. I did it once only to save time but found that they are tastier. Be conservative with the cream and the cheese.”
Turkey Mole Poblano
Turkey pre-dates pork in Mexican cooking by a mile. Mayans first domesticated turkeys a couple thousand years ago. Pigs would arrive in central Mexico with the Spanish. In this recipe, turkey meets mole poblano sauce featuring five chiles, spices, nuts, tomatoes, tortillas, and Mexican chocolate. "Sprinkle sesame seeds over mole if desired," says Sherbear1. "Garnish with onions and limes. Serve with rice on the sides and tostadas or tortillas."
Authentic Mole Sauce
Toasted guajillo, ancho, and chipotle chiles and rich chocolate, tomatoes, tomatillos, and spices feature in this authentic mole sauce. Mole is one of the truly great Pueblan sauces — the perfect way to top stewed meats or enchiladas. "One of the best tasting mole sauce I have eaten," says Phil. "Makes all food I put it on wonderful."
Corn Truffle (Huitlacoche) Quesadillas
"Huitlacoche (pronounced wee-tlah-KOH-cheh) is a delicious corn fungus packed with nutrients and antioxidants," says gem. "Known also as the Mexican truffle, it has been considered a delicacy in Mexico for thousands of years and its popularity is rapidly growing in the US and Europe. Enjoy it in these crispy quesadillas."
Barbacoa-Style Shredded Beef
This recipe says it's similar to Chipotle's barbacoa. But, of course, the tradition of barbacoa goes back quite a bit further. Puebla lays its claim to the tradition. In this version, beef cooks slowly in broth, cider vinegar, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, and oregano until perfectly tender.
Shredded chicken thighs and sliced onions combine with a flavorful tomato, chipotle and adobo sauce. Serve your tinga on crispy tostadas garnish with crumbled cotija cheese and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Or enjoy tinga in burritos, quesadillas, flautas, tacos, or on taco salads.
Chiles Rellenos Autenticos
Stuffed chile peppers are a cornerstone of Puebla cooking. Here, poblano peppers are simply stuffed with cheese, battered, and fried. "This authentic recipe for chiles rellenos (stuffed chile peppers) was adapted from the advice of several Hispanic friends," says Rebecca Krogman. "Serve with salsa and a sprinkling of cheese. Give it a try!"
Albondigas (Meatballs) en Chipotle
In this authentic and flavorful dish, beef and pork meatballs simmer in a spicy tomato and chipotle broth. "Tiny flavorful meatballs that your friends and family will rave about," says MexicoKaren. "Serve with warm tortillas and a salad."
Pollo adobado is a traditional adobo-marinated chicken dish with a very flavorful guajillo pepper and tomato sauce. "Love love loved this recipe," says Chef Roy. "Followed it to the T and I think it came out perfect!"
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Rajas con Crema, Elote, y Queso (Creamy Poblano Peppers and Sweet Corn)
Roasted poblano peppers and sweet corn simmer in a sauce made with cream and Mexican manchego cheese. "A deliciously easy Mexican staple," says Ainé. "Mexican manchego is very different than Spanish manchego. It can be replaced with Chihuahua cheese, another Mexican variety. In a pinch you can use a mild Cheddar cheese."
Camotes al Horno (Baked Yams)
A traditional side dish from Puebla, "Camotes al Horno has the sweet simplicity of baked yams with butter, honey and sugar," says Alenita. "Serve as a sweet treat on their own, or try them in combination with savory meat dishes for an interesting mix of flavors."
Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)
You'll find a big bread culture in Puebla, a call back to its French influence. "I got this recipe from my friend's mom who owns a Mexican bakery," says MelissaAmador. "When they made these one day for my family they loved them — even my brother who is sooo picky. Now they ask for them all the time. Although they are a little time consuming it is well worth it at the end!"
This ancient chocolate drink is made with cinnamon, whole clove, and star anise and thickened with pinole (ground maize flour). "This was fantastic, nice and thick as I remember," raves Anita Rivera-Lopez. "You can substitute cinnamon sticks for ground and brown sugar for the piloncillo. Wonderful!"
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