Spiced Pumpkin Seeds - ideas?
I have a bag of raw pumpkin seeds, already shelled, and I'm looking for ideas on how to spice them. I would love to serve them as cocktail nibbles or hors d'oeuvres.
I have the roasting technique figured out (a few minutes in a medium oven, watched carefully), but my spicing attempts so far have lacked flavor and zip.
Has anyone discovered any winning flavors and recipes?
Here is a great and easy recipe:
Pepitas con Chile de Arbol y Ajo from Chef Thomas Schnetz at Dona Tomas in Oakland.
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed
6 dried arbol chiles
2 cups shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chiles, and toss once or twice. Add the pumpkin seeds and mix to coat lightly with oil. Saute the seeds, stirring frequently (they will puff a bit and some will crack and pop) until most of them have turned from green to golden and the skins are crisp. Add salt and remove from the pan. Discard garlic.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Stored in an air-tight container, these keep well for up to 5 days.
Yields 2 cups
Here's a link to the recipe I posted on the SF Bay Area board a couple years ago. It's from Reed Hearon. Try doing it on top of the stove, you'll have more control. Also, I use whole dried chilis to have fuller flavor and no powder residue on the fingers. Pequins have a bit of a floral whiff, but they are small and you need to warn your guests about eating them whole.
When I was in San Francisco, we stopped for a snack at a little tea house in the Ferry Marketplace. We ordered some pumpkin seeds (these were still in the shell) that had been coated or roasted with some kind of a green tea flavor and I thought they were out of this world. I don't know if that technique could be adapted to raw out of the shell seeds but it added a richness to the pumpkin taste that was sensational.
you might try lower and slower on the temps. I find that when i toast almonds in bulk, that way I get fewer over-taosted burnt ones. Helps make up for the discrepancy in sizes. Place toasted seeds in a paper bag, add spices and shake bag.
A tasty spice combo might be lemon zest(dried and whizzed in a processor)black pepper, smoked salt, sugar, cayenne and ginger. If you lightly oil the toasting sheet with some OO, the spices would stick better.
Or you could try a dry jerk rub, and add a bit of sugar to it.