Large green chilies are stuffed with a cream cheese and walnut puree sparked with cinnamon and cilantro. Serve warm as an appetizer or first course.
8 large green chilies, such as Poblano or Anaheim
1 large package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1. Roast the chilies by sliding them under the broiler and cooking them until the skin is blistered and charred on all sides. Transfer the chilies to a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. When cool enough to handle, lift off the skin with a paring knife. Cut each pepper down one side and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Set aside on absorbent paper.
2. In the container of a blender or processor, combine the cream cheese, walnuts, and vinegar. Process until the walnuts are very fine and the mixture has a grainy consistency. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. (The mixture should be firm but spreadable. If it seems too stiff, blend in a small amount of cream.) Stir in the salt, cinnamon, raisins, and cilantro.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter a shallow baking dish. Spoon the filling into the chili pepper cavities and press closed. Arrange, seam side down, in the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through. Transfer to 4 small plates and serve immediately.