Huatape Veracruzana con Camarones, a Mole with Prawns

The entrée of our menu from Veracruz was ‘Huatape Veracruzana con Camarones’. Traditionally, special large sweet prawns are used in this dish, and Chef Rossana felt that the BC spot prawns would be a perfect substitute. They were cooked in a light ‘mole’ which means that we only used 10 chiles, not 50! Served with a Mexican-style white rice (fried before adding the seasoned chicken broth) and topped with fried plantain chips, this was an unusual and tasty mole…

Veracruz-style Prawn Mole

Veracruz-style Prawn Mole

  • the 5 chipotle and 5 gaujillo chiles for the Huatape Veracruzana mole.

    Chipotle (brown) and Guajillo (red) chiles for the mole Veracruzana

    Chipotle (brown) and Guajillo (red) chiles for the Huatape Veracruzana mole

  • the dried chiles were boiled until soft, and the rice was fried until it turned golden and sounded like ‘sand in the pan’.

    boiling the dried chiles until soft, and, in the background, frying the rice until it turns golden and sounds like 'sand in the pan'

    boiling the dried chiles until soft, and, in the background, frying the rice until it turns golden and sounds like ‘sand in the pan’

  • the boiled chiles were blended with onion, garlic, water and a pinch of epazote.

    blending the chiles with onion, garlic and water

    blending the chiles with onion, garlic and water

  • pungent, and redolent of mint, licorice and a delicate kerosene, epazote adds a distinctive taste to the mole. Remove the stems before adding to the sauce as they are quite woody. Rossana says epazote adds a certain extra to plain quesadilla, and is practically a requirement for bean dishes as it counteracts unpleasant beany side effects.

    epazote

    epazote

  • The ‘masa‘ (corn dough) was turned into a liquid paste to act as a thickener for the mole
'masa' (corn dough) worked into a liquid paste with the addition of small amounts of water

masa‘ (corn dough) worked into a liquid paste with the addition of small amounts of water

using a watery masa mixture to thicken the Mole

using the watery masa mixture to thicken the mole

  • Spot prawns were added to the thickened mole.

adding the prawns to the thickened mole

  • Once the prawns were added to the Huatape sauce everything was cooked another six minutes.the Spot Prawn Mole was cooked another 6 minutes once the prawns were added
  • Meanwhile plantains were cut up and deep-fried.

    frying the cut-up plantains

    frying the cut-up plantains

  • Huatape Veracruzana con Camarones served with Mexican-style white rice topped with fried plantain chips.

    mole with prawns, Veracruz-style

    mole with prawns, Veracruz-style

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