Mexican Shrimp Crepes with Pasilla Sauce

Shrimp Crepes with Chile Pasilla Sauce

1 1/2 pounds small, cooked shrimp
12 thin crepes, about 5 1/2 inches, prepared according to any basic crepe recipe
6 pasilla chiles
6 medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes, broiled
1/4 medium onion
1/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese grated

To broil tomatoes: Line a baking sheet with foil and place whole tomatoes on it. Place them under the broiler- do not have them too close to the element or the tomato will burn without cooking.- and turn them from time to time so they cook through evenly – the skin will be blistered and charred.

Next, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and toast the pasilla chiles lightly, turn them from time to time so that they do not burn. Set aside to cool a little. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the seeds and veins, being careful to remove them all or the sauce will be too picante. In a blender, blend the chiles, broiled tomatoes and onion, to a smooth paste. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl.

Heat the oil over medium heat and then add the strained sauce, sugar, and salt, and cook until the mixture becomes thick, about 15 minutes, mixing the sauce occasionally. Then add the heavy cream and cook another 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

In a medium bowl, mix the shrimps with 1 cup of the sauce. Place a little mixture in each of the crepes and roll them loosely. Place crepes side by side on the serving dish and pour the remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the crepes.

Bake in a 350 C preheated oven until the crepes are heated through and the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from The Cuisines of Mexico, Diana Kennedy.

Note: The crepes and sauce can be made the day before, the sauce also freezes well. They can be filled hours ahead and the remaining sauce and cheese added just before they go in the oven which makes this a great dish for a dinner party.

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