Pipián sauce, be it verde or rojo, I imagine is delicious when done right by someone who knows it intimately from their experience and cultural influence.
Me, on the other hand, not being Hispanic, sort of wing it based on tasting it someplace and reading about it.
The combination of ingredients are interesting enough, and in a way familiar enough from my intimacy with Indian cuisine, that I am at peace with this version. Layering of flavors for Indian curries, starting with fresh paste of aromatics and herbs, and adding in spice mix and nuts that are roasted and ground just before use, is something I am used to. In that sense, the Pipián sauce seemed not very different since it involves a similar layering of flavors as well.
Home garden summer squash was bountiful. Roasting/Charring them and serving with the Pipián sauce seemed like a fun thing to do.
Of course, kids turn up their noses at roasted summer squash, and squash of any kind, but I've got to keep offering it to them so that someday it can become an acquired taste, much like I acquired an all-consuming passion for eggplant with repeated exposure from childhood after staunchly refusing it as a kid, thanks to my persistent mom.
Roasted squash and zucchini: Heat the broiler, brush the squash with olive oil and place under broiler till browned on the top and cooked on the inside.
Alternately, char it over open flame or grill. Or, heat the cast iron skillet to high and place the cut side down, brushed with oil, and allow to brown and develop flavors, flip and cook the skin-side.
Zucchini gets so tender and sweet when roasted, it hardly needs any accompaniment to enjoy it.
Pipián Rojo sauce
4 dried ancho-pasilla chilies
4 dry Japanese red chilies
1 small fresh white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large vine-ripened tomato, diced (optional)
4 cups stock or water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
for the powdered seeds+nuts:
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup raw hulled green pumpkin seeds
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan, saute the onion, garlic, tomatoes; add the chilies stock, spice powder, salt, cover and simmer till aromatic and cooked through
- Meanwhile, dry toast the nuts+seeds and grind them to fine powder and keep handy
- In a blender, pour in the coarse sauce from step 1 above and blend to a smooth consistency, then strain to remove chili skin and seeds and bits and pieces; return to pot and allow to simmer some more by adding stock as needed for desired consistency
- Whisk in the nuts+seeds powder into the simmering sauce, over low heat, allow to cook some more
- Taste and adjust salt and serve warm or at room temperature as a dip or sauce for chicken or veggies