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Appetizers, Vegetarian

Queso de chiva fundido con pipian verde (Broiled goat cheese with pumpkin seed sauce)

Queso de chiva fundido con pipian verde (Broiled goat cheese with pumpkin seed sauce)
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Dona Tomas is not a restaurant name that rings many bells outside the San Francisco Bay Area. The owners, Thomas Schnetz and Dona Savitsky, have never been on the cover of Food & Wine, competed on "Iron Chef" or even ... Read more

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours | Serves 8
  • 3/4 cup hulled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup tomatillos (about 4 tomatillos, 3/4 pound)
  • 1/2 bunch epazote, stemmed, washed and dried (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, stemmed, washed and dried (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, stemmed, washed and dried (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound goat cheese
  • Tortilla chips, preferably homemade

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pepitas on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until evenly browned.

Step 2Soak the tomatillos in cold water for a few minutes, then peel off and discard the husks. Place the pepitas, tomatillos, epazote, cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeno and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a blender. Add 1 cup of the broth and blend on high speed until a slightly lumpy puree is achieved.

Step 3Place a large straight-sided skillet or frying pan over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the sauce, stirring to prevent splattering. Decrease the heat to low and slowly simmer for about 1 hour, stirring frequently and adjusting the consistency with more broth when it reaches gravy consistency and starts to splatter. Check and adjust the seasoning with salt as necessary. Keep hot if using right away, or transfer to a container to cool. The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.

Step 4Heat the broiler. Divide the goat cheese into 8 portions and form each into a 1-inch thick patty (this thickness allows the cheese to bake quickly and evenly). Place the patties individually into 4-inch ramekins and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese softens but still retains its shape. Carefully remove from the oven and ladle the warm sauce over the cheese. Serve immediately with the tortilla chips.

Note: From "Dona Tomas" by Thomas Schnetz and Dona Savitsky.

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