Make the spiced pepitas: In a medium skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the pepitas, cumin, chile powder, and a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until most of the pepitas have expanded and the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl and serve hot or leave on the counter and serve at room temperature.
Make the chipotle quark: Puree all the ingredients in a mini food processor or blender (or finely mince the chipotles on a cutting board and stir them into the quark). Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 5 days.
How many of you open a can of tomato paste or chipotle chiles in adobo (both of which appear more than once in this book), use a bit of it, cover the can and refrigerate it, and then forget about it until the can is rusty and the contents fuzzy green and you need another tablespoon of tomato paste or chipotles? I know my own self, and I am not conscientious enough to use those leftovers in a timely way, so I go ahead and take the time to tablespoon the tomato paste onto waxed paper and freeze it until firm, then transfer it to a freezer bag (it can be dropped into the slow cooker straight from the freezer). I’ll mince or puree the extra chipotles and sauce in a mini food processor, or pound them in a mortar and pestle, and refrigerate the puree in a clean canning jar (which won’t rust) or freeze it.
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