This is an earthy, slightly spicy dish that I discovered in a little restaurant off the beaten path while exploring in Cancun. It was so delicious and I wanted to be able to make it at home, so I searched the web and started experimenting, testing and tasting, and finally came up with the following. I hope you like it too.


Recipe Summary

30 mins
25 mins
20 mins
1 hr 15 mins
12 stuffed chiles


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place the peppers on top.

  • Cook the peppers under the preheated broiler until the skin has blistered and mostly blackened, turning every few minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove the peppers to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand, cooling for 20 minutes. Once cool, peel off the blackened skin, slit down the side, and remove the seeds.

  • Preheat an oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the veal and pork; cook and stir until the meat is crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the almonds, pine nuts, cactus, raisins, and cilantro. Cook and stir until the meat has browned, is crumbly, and no longer pink. Season to taste with salt.

  • Stuff the roasted chiles with the meat mixture, and place into an ovenproof dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, and place in the oven to keep warm. Make the sauce by placing the walnuts into the blender, and pulsing to chop. Set the blender on Low, and slowly pour in the half-and-half to form a smooth sauce. Add the parsley, and blend to combine. Pour sauce over chiles to serve.

Cook's Note

To save time, I often make the meat mixture up ahead of time and double it so I can place half in the freezer. I buy my cactus at a local Mexican market where it's already chopped and in a 1-pound container in the refrigerator section, but I've also seen it in our chain grocery store produce department in paddle form. You can just snip the stubby prickly ends, wash, and chop.

Nutrition Facts

727 calories; protein 30.4g; carbohydrates 39.5g; fat 54g; cholesterol 88.9mg; sodium 125.3mg. Full Nutrition