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August 20, 2008

Some Friend You Are: Chop and Serve Pepita


Let us start with an introduction. Meet our friend the pumpkin seed. You have maybe met this character once or twice before, and probably it was during the manufacture of a Jack-o-Lantern. He has a brother, you know, a much plainer fellow. His name is pepita. In fact, you may even say that pepita is an unshelled pumpkin seed.


The two of you are now fast friends, I’m sure.


Now, dump your newfound friend into a food processor and chop him to bits. This is how you should treat all new friends.


While you are chopping him, throw in a clove or two of garlic, some red pepper flakes, lemon juice, a bit of cilantro, some ground cumin and just enough olive oil so that it all oozes in a difficult way.


You’ve now made a sauce of your friend. The dilemma that will now pose itself is this: A sauce is just no good to anyone unless it is on top of something. This is the way of the sauce.


Here is your answer, and it starts with you preheating the oven to 450 degrees.


In a thick, iron skillet, brown some sausage, chopped red onion and thinly sliced red onion on relatively high heat. When things are well progressed, throw in some sliced zucchini and cover the skillet. The idea is to heat the zucchini until it is still somewhat firm.


You could now lay the sauce over this, but would be downright lazy. You would do a disservice to your friend who you chopped up so soon after meeting. Is that how to treat someone?


Remove from the skillet the browned sausage and related fixins. Turn down the heat under the skillet and add more olive oil. Meanwhile, crack half a dozen eggs into a large bowl and beat until of even appearance and consistency. You may have to beat them and beat them and beat them, but do not stop beating them until the work is done.


Once the oil is hot, pour the eggs into the bottom of the pan. Let it sit until the eggs are set. Resist the temptation to stir the eggs. You are not after some scrambled egg recipe here, but will require the eggs to function as a kind of pie crust of sorts.


The eggs will be done when they are just firm enough that they no longer ooze.


Pour the browned sausage and assorted fixins into the pan.


Now, we return to your friend. If you are feeling regret for having so shabbily treated a new acquaintance, you can make amends by now spreading the sauce over the top of the sausage and fixins and egg foundation. It must be noted that this is an entirely feel-good thing. The pepitas are probably not over the insult at having been ground up.


Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and top with crumbled goat cheese.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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