So many snacks, so little time! This snack—Pepitas—toasted pumpkin seeds—is quite different from the merienda I mentioned last week, though both are Mexican-born bites. I like pepitas on their own; as I said in my Wednesday’s In the Kitchen with Arlen entry, sometimes less is so much more! But, well, as always, I leave you to discover ways in which you might incorporate them into your menu. You can enjoy these crunchy and savory-meets-sweet-and-somewhat-spicy treat as a snack, put them on top of a salad, blended into pesto, mixed up with rice, pasta—and more. Actually—have to tell you—when my kids were little, I packed ‘em up in an airtight container for a school time snack. (And, my friends, I promise that when I grow up and get my bar, they’ll be there for all that come to imbibe!)
But back to pepitas, the nice thing about them is that you can vary them according to what you’re in the mood for. For example, I sometimes like ‘em pretty spicy…with a bit more of chipotle than most. But you can always tone that down, and bring up the salt , sugar, and garlic (and please, you can’t go wrong with those three elements!). Also, you can make them and keep them—as long as they’re airtight—for up to a week. A friend of mine used to freeze them, and then pull them out to top a salad!
Do let me know how you enjoy them! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!
Adapted from Mambo Mixers,© 2005, Arlen Gargagliano
1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s)
3 garlic cloves, or to taste, crushed
1/2 to 1 teaspoon puréed (or finely diced) chipotle en adobo (available at Viva Grande in New Rochelle, and many other markets!), or according to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar
1 lime wedge (optional)
Heat a medium size heavy frying pan, and pour in the pumpkin seeds. Let toast for about five minutes, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes; you’ll see that they’re starting to brown. After several are looking toasty (but again, not burnt!) Turn the heat off. Add the chipotle, salt, and sugar and mix well so that all the seeds are coated. Transfer them into a bowl. Serve immediately, or let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Before serving, shake (to get the salt and sugar from the bottom, and , if you’d like, squeeze the wedge of lime on top.