Monday, August 24, 2009

Sikil Pak

Trying a lot of new and different recipes can have its ups and downs. There are ones that are easy and lovely and cause no stress and turn out delicious. Others are a little more complicated and leave you wondering about the results until the very end. And, once in a while, there’s a recipe that ends up being a complete waste of time and ingredients. It doesn’t happen often, but I just experienced one of the latter recently, and it’s depressing. I had to move on, find something really good to try, and forget about it. The sikil pak from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson was a great recipe for dip and for forgetting about bad food. This is a Mayan dish that’s perfect for dipping tortilla chips. Ground pepitas form the base of the dip and an habanero gives it spice. I have no idea how I’d never encountered this before, but now that I know how to make it, I’ll be doing so frequently.

An habanero and some unpeeled garlic cloves were charred in a pan and then allowed to cool. Tomatoes received the same treatment. The pepitas were ground in a food processor and removed to a bowl. Then, the seeded and chopped habanero, the peeled garlic, and the cored tomatoes were roughly chopped in the food processor. The ground pumpkin seeds were returned to the food processor, and the goal was to puree this mixture to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Some vegetable stock was called for in the recipe, but there was enough juice in the tomatoes I used to achieve the desired texture without adding any other liquid. Finely chopped white onion, cilantro leaves, and a couple pinches of cinnamon were stirred into the dip to finish it.

It was noticeably fiery but not in a painful way. The pepitas smoothed out the heat, and the tomatoes freshened it up. Charring the vegetables added deeper flavor and earthiness, and the onion and cilantro added texture and spunk. The dip gets even better as it sits in the refrigerator overnight, and I’m certain about that because I nearly devoured the entire remaining quantity for lunch today. This was such a happy discovery; I think everyone should try making it. Or, just stop by my house because from now on I’ll be making some every few days.





34 comments:

  1. This is really interesting. I need to see if the library has that book.

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  2. I have been thinking of getting Heidi's book. Thanks for this post, you have convinced me further.

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  3. Ooo...Love me some dip. It kind of reminds me of hummas in a way because of the texture and thickness of it. I guess this is another dip I have to try to make. Plus, I have to check back book out, too.

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  4. A very different type of dip... I think I would like this. Now I have to decide if I want to make it or just stop by your house to eat some! :)

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  5. I love pepitas so a pepita dip is a no brainer - great recipe!

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  6. What an amazing dip! This is the first I've heard of this and will have to try it out. I love pepitas; the ones in your photo look puffed up - did you toast them first or were they purchased that way?
    You certainly know how to handle your heat! I'm miles away from being able to handle habañero so I'll wuss out and use a milder chile! 8-)

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  7. Oooh, OK, I'll be right over then. Save me some! ;)

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  8. That dip looks particularly scrumptious! A great blend of flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. The dip sounds and looks so delicious...I like fiery food. :-)

    Angie's Recipes

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  10. A very unique and delicious dip! Would love to have a taste!

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  11. TN: I purchased toasted, salted pepitas, and that's how they looked in the bulk bin. I was thinking that each time I purchase pepitas they look a little different.

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  12. i'm a fan of the dip. i tend to apply way too much to whatever dipper i'm using, often resulting in breakage of said dipper. this is a new one to me and i find it very appealing!

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  13. This looked and sounded so good - a nice break from the traditional dips. And I'm tempted, even more, to buy her book.

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  14. Sounds really delicious Lisa! I love pepitas!~

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  15. What a unique recipe! I've been eating so much hummus - this sounds like a delicious alternative!

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  16. What an unique dip!! bookmarking this. lots of heat & flavor in it.

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  17. Yum! This looks like a meal to me...

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  18. the dip sound soo flavorful!! yummm!!!

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  19. Noticeably fiery but not painful -- I think that's a pretty darn accurate assessment. I've made Heidi's sikil pak before and it's got a wonderfully layered flavor profile. It's also creamy - hard to believe it's pretty much guilt-free.

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  20. I made something very similar recently but with canned tomatoes and jalapenos, I like the sound of your version. I can vouch for the tastiness - it was truly a new addiction,

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  21. That is some seriously delicious dip. I love the pinches of cinnamon at the end! Mmm....

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  22. Sounds lovely and flavourful esp with the charred garlic. I am very curious about the bad one now =P

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  23. Wow...so I have Heidi's book and love it, but must have just glossed over on this recipe. I don't remember it at all. Looks divine! I love pepitas, and a fiery dip made with them sounds great. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Lisa, we'll make very good friends. We both love dipping! haha

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  25. That cookbook sounds really good and the recipe that you made too. :)

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  26. I love dips and this looks like a good one...no , wait, this looks like a great one..

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  27. The book sound interesting and the dip sounds really good

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  28. I truly learn something new & interesting from you today. Who would have thought of trying something from the Mayan culture!

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  29. I love the sound of this. I love dips like hummus, guacamole, roasted eggplant dip, but this is a new one for me.

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  30. WOW This looks reight up my alley, sounds DELICIOUS!!
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Great site and pictures! :)

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  31. Wow, I've never heard of this before either, but it sounds SO good with all those layers of flavor, I definitely need to give it a try!

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  32. Hmmm, yummy! I have missed this post of yours. I love learning different types of dips, this one is great.

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  33. Hmmm, yummy! I have missed this post of yours. I love learning different types of dips, this one is great. (pressed too fast, the previous one is my old blog, not active)

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