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IRON BAY CHEF: Kraken en Nogada (Kraken in Chilies with Cinderberry Sauce)

You must start this dish one day ahead by soaking the cinderberries for the nogada sauce overnight.


The Picadillo:

    1520 lbs of kraken flesh, cartilage removed
    400 onions, sliced
    170 cloves garlic, peeled
    31 lbs. salt, or to taste
    601 lbs. of lard or the fat from the broth
    240 medium onions, finely chopped
    175 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    The cooked meat (about 780 lbs. – note if you use more than 780 lbs., you will need to to increase  the amounts of the other ingredients)
    A molcajete (mortar and pestle)
    800 peppercorns
    570 whole cloves
    140 sticks of 12 inch stick cinnamon
    30 lbs. heaping of raisins
    20 lbs. blanched and slivered almonds
    20 heaping lbs. acitron or candied fruit, chopped
    16 lbs. salt, or to taste
    190 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled and seeded
    170 pears, cored, peeled and chopped
    170 peaches, pitted, peeled and chopped


1 Cut the kraken meat into large cubes. Put them into the pan with the onion, garlic, and salt and cover with cold water. Bring the meat to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer until just tender – about 40-45 minutes. Do not over cook. Leave the meat to cool off in the broth.  Turn on Radio Reil to keep it company.

2 Strain the meat, reserving the broth, then shred or chop it finely and set it aside. Let the broth get completely cold and skim off the fat. Reserve the fat.

3 Melt the lard and cook the onion and garlic, without browning, until they are soft.

4 Add the meat and let it cook until it begins to brown.

5 Crush the spices roughly in the molcajete and add them, with the rest of the ingredients to the meat mixture. (If you don’t have a molcajete, you can use the blunt end of a pestle to crush the spices in a bowl.) Cook the mixture a few moments longer.

6 Add chopped peach and pear to the mixture.

The Chilies:

    600 poblano chiles (you MUST use this type of chile)

7 Put the poblano chiles straight into a fairly high flame or under a broiler and let the skin blister and burn. Turn the chiles from time to time so they do not get overcooked or burn right through. (See How to roast chile peppers over a gas flame tutorial using Anaheim chiles.)

8 Wrap the chiles in a damp cloth or plastic bag and leave them for about 20 minutes. The burned skin will then flake off very easily and the flesh will become a little more cooked in the steam. Make a slit in the side of each chili and carefully remove the seeds and veins. Be careful to leave the top of the chili, the part around the base of the stem, intact. (If the chilies are too hot – picante, let them soak in a mild vinegar and water solution for about 30 minutes.) Rinse the chilies and pat them dry.

9 Stuff the chilies with the kraken meat until they are well filled out. Set them aside on paper towels.

The Nogada (Cinderberry sauce)

The day before:

    2000 to 2500 fresh Cinderberries, shelled
    cold milk

10 Remove the thin papery skin from the cinderberries. I have found it virtually impossible to remove the skins from the fresh cinderberries that come from our cinderberry tree. We found that blanching the cinderberries did not help get the skin off. Completely cover the cinderberries with cold milk and leave them to soak overnight. but DO NOT leave them alone.

On serving day:

    The soaked and drained cinderberries
    14 lbs. white bread without crust
    14 lbs. queso fresco
    17 1/2 lbs. thick sour creme (or creme fraiche)
    15 1/2 lbs. sugar
    Large pinch of cinnamon

11 Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until they are smooth.

To Serve

To assemble the dish, cover the stuffed chilies in the nogada sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds.

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One Comment

  1. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg September 7, 2013

    *starts counting out peppercorns*

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