Friday, November 22, 2013

Foodie Friday: Pipian Verde and a Little Chayote Tutorial!

I have a good friend whose husband is from Mexico. This works out quite nicely because I happen to LOVE Mexican food. Oh, and my friend is pretty awesome too! :) Last time we went for dinner, she taught me how to make carnitas, which were delicious even if I had a slight complex about preparing Mexican food for a Mexican. But I digress. My favorite recipe she has made is for a mole (which is not a 'traditional' mole but they call it a mole and I'm going with it) served over roasted chicken or steamed vegetables. Here is the recipe, which apparently comes from a Rick Bayless cookbook, via Kitchen Addiction. The recipe is as follows:

Pepian Verde

1 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 serranos, stemmed (I have used poblanos also)
3 cloves garlic
15 large sprigs cilantro (or a handful)
4 Romaine leaves, torn up a bit
2 large radish leaves, torn (I haven't used these)
4 c. chicken stock (homemade is best)
olive oil
Kosher salt

In a skillet over medium heat, saute pepitas with a bit of salt in about 2 TBS. olive oil, stirring frequently. You want to toast them without burning them. This should take about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. In a blender, add onion, chiles, garlic, cilantro, romaine, radish leaves and 1 1/2 C. chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Add all but 1 TBS. pepitas and blend til smooth. Add another 1/2 C. stock if necessary. Heat 2 TBS. olive oil in a large skillet and add puree all at once. Cook and stir till thickened, then add remaining chicken broth and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Top with reserved pepitas.

This sauce is very good served over rice and roasted, shredded chicken or steamed chayote. Chayo-what? Well, I'm glad you asked. This is what it looks like:

They look ridiculous, don't they? The one on the left just needs some googly eyes and it would look like an old man without his dentures in. Again, I digress. This curious vegetable is similar to zucchini, but the texture is a more firm. First, peel them with a vegetable peeler. I will say here that they made my skin do very weird things. Like get all tight and crackly, but don't let that stop you! The second time I made this I used gloves.

Don't worry about peeling the crease. Its pretty much impossible, but the skin isn't really tough so you shouldn't notice a few bits here and there. Next, cut the chayote in half. The seed is fairly soft so the knife should go through it. 

Use a knife or the end of a vegetable peeler to get the seed halves out.

Cut into cubes and steam til tender. Salt if desired.

1 comment:

  1. The chayote fascinates me…I should probably start using them.