Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Pumpkin Seed Sauce (Pipian) is a stunning dish. I’m not going to lie…it takes some work. But, boy oh boy, is it worth it. The Veracruz-style shrimp explodes with vibrant flavors, and of course the lightly fried corn tortillas bathed in the sublime Pumpkin Seed Sauce all works together incredibly well. Make this on a weekend when you have some time, and you can enjoy the smells and the process of creating this incredible dish. The Veracruz shrimp is also amazing over rice, if you want to skip the pumpkin seed sauce. Either way, make this, and you’ll feel as those you are treating yourself to a 3-star Mexican restaurant in the heart of beautiful Veracruz, Mexico. 150% Loon Approved!
Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Pumpkin Seed Sauce (Pipian)
FOR THE VERACRUZ SAUCE
- 3 lbs tomatoes 9 or 10 medium, cored
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1/4 cup small to medium green olives pitted and quartered lengthwise
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 tbsp bottled capers drained
- 2 tsp dried oregano
FOR THE TORTILLAS
- Pumpkin Seed Pepitas Sauce (click for recipe)
- 1/2 cup corn oil can also use vegetable oil
- 16 corn tortillas yellow corn is good
FOR THE SHRIMP
- 40 large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
MAKE THE VERACRUZ SAUCE
- Blanch tomatoes in 3 batches in a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds per batch.
- Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water.
- Peel, seed, and finely chop tomatoes.
- Heat oil in a deep 12 - 13 inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onion (without browning), stirring, 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute, stirring, until garlic and onion are pale golden, about 1 minute.
- Stir in tomatoes, sugar, salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes.
- While the sauce cooks, pre-heat oven to 200 F.
- Add olives, raisins, capers, and oregano to sauce and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer sauce to baking dish, discarding bay leaves, and keep warm, covered, in the oven.
PREPARE THE TORTILLAS
- Transfer 2 cups hotPumpkin Seed (Pepitas) Sauceto a bowl large enough to hold a tortilla. (a pie plate works well). Keep remainder of sauce warm, covered, on stove top over low heat, or in the oven.
- Heat oil in a 7 - 8 inch heavy skillet over medium heat, until hot but not smoking, then carefully pass tortillas 1 at a time though the oil with tongs to soften, about 2 seconds per side.
- Blot both sides of tortilla with paper towels and place on a plate.
- Flip stack so slightly cooler tortillas are on top.
- Working with 1 tortilla at a time, dredge in pumpkin seed sauce (in the bowl) to coat both sides, then roll up like a cigar in a shallow baking pan, arranging tortillas side by side in pan as rolled.
- Cover tortillas with foil and keep warm in oven.
SAUTE THE SHRIMP
- Pat shrimp dry, then toss with garlic and salt.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp mixture, stirring and turning shrimp, until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir the shrimp and parsley into Veracruz sauce.
PLATE THE DISH
- Put 2 tortillas on each of 8 plates and spoon more pumpkin seed sauce over them.
Spoon shrimp mixture over tortillas and garnish with parsley.