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pumpkin seeds -- in a sauce

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daveklop Nov 2, 2006 12:56 AM

Years ago I had a dish by (I believe) a Guatemalan cook -- chicken in a spicy brown sauce. When I asked, I learned that the secret to the sauce's delicious flavor was ground pumpkin seeds. I've never seen a recipe for a sauce like that, but I'd love to try one now as I stare at the pile of pumpkin seeds I roasted last night. Does anyone know how to make such a dish?

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    sweetTooth RE: daveklop Nov 2, 2006 01:33 AM

    I believe the sauce is called Pipian. You should be able to find a Rick Bayless recipe for it. I saw him make that on one of his shows.

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      lilyanna RE: daveklop Nov 2, 2006 01:41 AM

      I lovvvee pumpkin seeds in sauces. Pureed, they make sauces so creamy, yet without dairy. I find something wonderful about the pureed pumpkin seed trick. They are also used in Mexico.

      Saveur has a good recipe in their Summer 2003 Tex-Mex, Mexican and Latin American special issue for Pollo en Pipian. It includes pistachios.

      1. opinionatedchef RE: daveklop Nov 3, 2006 02:37 AM

        i'm assuming you have hulled your seeds? otherwise, your time to hull enough of them for a sauce- might be better used just buying them hulled and toasted. anyway, a very easy way to use them is to toast and puree them and add to some salsa verde- Tr Joe's sells a very good jar of it; simmer for awhile over sauteed chicken or fish. as mentioned,rick bayless's and diana kennedy's books all have versions of this dish; the jarred salsa verde just gives you a shortcut.

        1. sixelagogo RE: daveklop Nov 3, 2006 08:37 PM

          Whatever you do, make sure you toast them either in the oven or on the stove until they pop...they taste really raw if you don't...
          I use my cast-iron pan and particlaly blacken whole tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, and onion, then toss it into a blender with the pumpkin seeds....it's great as a sauce for chicken (pollo pipian)

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            daveklop RE: daveklop Nov 4, 2006 05:31 AM

            This is terrific info, and thanks everyone for jumping in. I'm going to take a shot at peeling my ziplock full of roasted jack o'lantern seeds by hand and see whether I have the patience for it (will cracking the hulls gently with a rolling pin help, I wonder)?

            I often do the same technique you mention, sixelagao, with tomatillos in a cast iron pan, and I can't wait to add pumpkin seeds to it. This time, though, I may leave the salsa verde on the side -- the sauce I remember, that started this whole investation, was brown, maybe thickened with some crema mexicana (or sour cream more likely -- this was in Indiana). I'll dig for a recipe like that, or maybe just wing it and see what I come up with. Wish me luck!

            1. Anonimo RE: daveklop Nov 4, 2006 11:20 PM

              Dining Diva has a step by step recipe for Pipian Rojo de Pollo on her blog: http://thediningdiva.typepad.com/the_...
              Check out that great food blog!

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                sonettguy RE: daveklop Mar 30, 2007 11:41 AM

                I am a chef in Antigua for missions. The dish your are being referred to is more commonly called pepian, for the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) used to make it. However, it is made there with both pumpkin seeds and squash seeds. Both are dried, toasted and ground. They will provide a certain smokey flavor. Try them with tomatillos and a serrano pepper a tangy green sauce called Jocon for use with chicken.

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