If you haven't figure it out by now, I am hugely influenced by Latin and Caribbean food and flavors. So when I saw the recipe for pipian sauce I had to make it. Pipian is a traditional Mexican sauce normally served over roasted meat or enchiladas. You could probably even serve it with some good, crusty bread on a buffet. This is my variation of pipian. I used the sesame seeds because they are easier to find, but the pepitas are traditional
Pork Chops with Pipian
1/3 C sesame seeds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
4 boneless pork chops, 1" thick
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 C tomato sauce (one 8oz can)
1 C water
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika (or 1 tsp cumin)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp cayenne
cilantro, salt, pepper, oil
In a large, deep, dry skillet toast the sesame seeds or pepitas. (If you are using pepitas, get the unroasted variety.) Remove from skillet and let cool. Using a mortar and pestle or a small food processor, crush the toasted seeds. ( I like a mixture of totally pulverized seeds and mostly whole ones.)
Heat about 2 tsp of oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. Salt and pepper the pork chops. Sear both sides. Do not cook all the way through. Remove from skillet.
Saute onions for a few minutes. Add garlic, tomato sauce, water and spices. Simmer for about 10 min, or until reduced by about 1/3. Fold in crushed, toasted seeds. Return pork chops. Cover and turn heat down to medium. Simmer until pork is cooked. This should take about 15 minutes, but may vary depending on thickness of the cut.
Top with fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge. The acid from the lime is really delicious!