This isn’t food to eat quickly while standing up—this is worth taking a seat to linger over. The result is a rich and surprisingly flavorful sauce with just a tinge of heat.
Shrimp in Pipian Sauce
- 1 ½ pounds medium shrimp unshelled, preferably with heads on
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 small bunch cilantro chopped, stems discarded
- 4 serrano chiles stemmed, and chopped
- ½ small white onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup thick sour cream
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 limes quartered
- Remove shells and heads from shrimp.
- Transfer shells and heads to a medium-sized saucepan.
- Pour in water, and add salt.
- Turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer.
- Turn heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast pumpkin seeds in an un-greased 12-inch iron skillet set over medium heat.
- Toss gently, and remove when they begin to pop.
- They should not brown.
- Transfer to blender.
- Let cool for a few seconds, and then grind to a powder.
- Add shrimp broth, cilantro, serranos, and onion to blender.
- Blend until very smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add butter to iron skillet.
- Melt over medium-low heat.
- Pour in pumpkin seed mixture.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for about three minutes, or until it becomes a relatively thick paste.
- Stir in sour cream, and season with more salt to taste.
- Cook for three minutes.
- Turn heat to low, and add shrimp.
- Stir well and cook for five minutes.
- Season with more salt to taste.
- Serve with warm corn tortillas and the quartered limes.