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pumpkin seeds -- in a sauce

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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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  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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)

          1. 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!