(Note: in Oaxacan cooking, when a sauce has pepitas, they often are labeled as pipian-- and it's a very traditional mole) —Sara, Neftali & Sally
dry roasted (preferably on a comal or cast iron pan) and de-veined and seeded jalapenos
big cloves garlic, roasted the same way until flat sides are blackened
stems fresh cilantro
as needed to blend
salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Roast jalapenos and garlic-- for both, roast until blacked (this will seem "burned" to many American cooks, but it's pivotal to developing proper Mexican flavor).
Dry toast pepitas over medium heat, moving constantly so as not to burn. Cool all slightly before blending.
Blend all together in food processor (preferable) or blender. Add enough water to make a consistency that is creamy but not entirely smooth-- the pepitas will maintain some of their texture, making it slightly coarse. If so desired, add a shot or two of good Mezcal. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sara Franklin is a freelance food writer, oral historian and multi-media storyteller, integrating all that into her work towards a PhD in the Food Studies program at NYU. She's worked at the American Museum of Natural History on their forthcoming food exhibit, as a restaurant critic, farmer, urban agriculture instructor, curriculum designer, pie baker, researcher and anti-poverty advocate. She splits her time between Western Massachusetts and Brooklyn, and makes frequent trips to Brazil, where she is working on a cookbook about the multi-faceted role of manioc (a.k.a. cassava or yuca) root in Brazil's regional cuisines.
Neftali Duran was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, but immigrated to L.A. as a teenager, where he cut his teeth in restaurant kitchens. For the past nine years, he has been rooted in Western Massachusetts as the owner of El Jardin Bakery, an artisanal wood-fired bread bakery. He’s also an avid home cook and makes increasingly frequent appearances as a guest chef, preparing his take on traditional Oaxacan dishes at parties and events. He lives in Sunderland, Massachusetts.
Sally Ekus is a culinary literary agent at The Lisa Ekus Group. When not brokering book deals or assisting clients, she can be found feeding her yen for pho, running marathons and cooking and conceptualizing new dishes that you just can’t believe don’t contain gluten or dairy. She lives in Florence, Massachusetts.