Seared prawns with pumpkin seed sauce and black beans (Mole Pipian and frijoles negros)

Colin Doyle creates another delicious dish (you can also use fresh scallops or chunks of fish) full of the flavours of Mexico.  Join Colin in his next Mexican class on Thursday 23rd October.

Chef:  Colin Doyle.  Serves:  4.

24 raw prawn cutlets (or use fresh scallops if available)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 bunch coriander, including the root, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 green chillies, roughly chopped
½ small onion, chopped
500ml fish stock (we recommend Foundation Foods)
3 tomatillo (if available)
30gm butter
½ cup thick Greek yoghurt or sour cream
1 small onion, finely diced
1 chipotle chile en adobo (canned)
30ml oil (or can use lard)
1 can black beans
½ tsp dried epazote
1 tsp salt, or to taste

1. In a dry pan, toast the pumpkin seeds over a medium heat until they begin to swell and pop. You should stir them often and not let them brown. Set aside a tablespoon of the toasted seeds for use as a garnish. Allow to cool and grind the pumpkin seeds to a fine paste.
2. Place the ground pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped coriander (leaves and stems/root), garlic, chillies (omit seeds and membrane for a milder sauce), onion and fish stock into a blender and blend until smooth.
3. If using fresh tomatillos, char the skin over a flame and add the chopped flesh to the blender with the other ingredients in (2).
4. Melt the butter over a low heat and add the blended pumpkin seed sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for approximately 3 minutes. Add the yoghurt (or sour cream) off the heat and warm through, for approximately 3 – 4 minutes.
5. To prepare the black beans: heat a pan. Add the oil (or lard), onion and chipotle and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the beans and epazote and cook for a few minutes. Process the beans to a smooth paste and set aside.
6. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan for approximately one minute each side. It is important not to crowd the pan so you may have to do this in two batches – aim for a nice caramelisation.
7. To serve: make a disc of the pipian sauce in the centre of a dinner plate. Position three quenelles of the refried black beans around the edge of the sauce. Place the prawns in the centre of the plate and garnish with lime wedges and some reserved toasted pumpkin seeds.


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