08 June 2012

Pumpkin Seed Chili Sauce

This sauce!  THIS SAUCE!  Just when you thought your taste buds couldn't take any more, this sauce takes them on a dance to the wild side and back.  It's like a salsa verde that gets a surprise flavor boost from roasted pumpkin seeds.  Phenomenal. 
Well, okay.  not the most appetizing to look at.  But I promise you, the taste far exceeds the visual appeal.
Start with 8 tomatillos.  This recipe is pretty casual like that.  I got mixed sizes because I had no idea how much tomatillo it actually wanted.  De-husk, wash, and coarsely chopped.  Throw them in a pan with some coconut oil, a (coarsely chopped) medium onion, and a couple minced garlic cloves.  Add 1 tsp of ground coriander and 1 tsp of ground cumin.
While things on the stove heat up, roast a bell pepper, and a jalapeno pepper for 7 minutes at 450*F.  Take them out, add 1/2 a cup of unsalted pumpkin seeds and roast for another 8 minutes.
Mmmmmm, the seeds smell so good.  And of course, my honeymoon with roasted veggies is far from over!
By now, the tomatillos should be nice and soft.
So now they are ready for the food processor!  You heard that right - I got a food processor!  At a garage sale, no less.  $30 for a food processor / blender.  The jury is still out, because it did make a bit of a mess, but it processed everything great!
So process the tomatillo mixture with the peppers, all but a tablespoon of the pumpkin seeds (save some for garnish) and half a cup of water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
The resulting mixture is the sauce you've been subconsciously dreaming about.  The flavor is out of this world!  Great for tortilla chips, a pile of nachos, adding some great flavor to tacos, or my choice: enchiladas.
Because I was serving this at a dinner party, I wanted to spruce it up just a little bit more so that everyone had some options.  Half mole and half pumpkin seed chili sauce.  Start by layering the bottom of the pan with sauces.
Then add your wraps, filled with whatever you like - meat, beans, sauce, cheese, etc.  Top with more sauce, and a sprinkling of cheese.
Bake at 350*F for 25 minutes - the top should be lightly toasted, and the smells wafting through your house will inspire even the most unhungry stomach to growl.
And I chose to garnish not with pumpkin seeds, but with green onions.
The best part of this recipe (this is the best part of ANY recipe) is that it makes a HUGE batch of sauce, so you can use or freeze the leftovers!

Recipe recap, adapted from the Global Gourmet:
  • 1 green bell pepper and 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, roasted at 450*F for 15 minutes
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 c. hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted 6 to 8 minutes at 450*F
  • 1/2 c. water
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450*F.  Coarsely chop up the tomatillos, the onion and the garlic.  Put them in a pan over medium heat with the coconut oil.  Add the coriander and cumin.

Cover a baking sheet with foil and cut the peppers into quarters.  Put the peppers on the baking sheet and roast for 7 minutes.  At 7 minutes, take them out and add the pumpkin seeds.  Roast for another 6-8 minutes.

Put the tomatillo mixture and the peppers/pumpkin seeds (save 1 tbs pumpkin seeds for garnish) in a food processor with half a cup of water.  Process until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sauce works great for enchiladas.  Freeze leftover sauce for up to 2 months.


  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog! Your sauce looks incredible!

  2. I've never actually cooked with tomatillos but love salsa verde. This looks delicious!

  3. Roasted pumpkin seeds make anything better! That dish looks great.