Saturday, February 25, 2012
Nopales, cacti that can prick your conscience
I think a person could play table tennis with a piece of nopales in each hand. But then, I've never been known for my sanity. I do know this: you can grill these guys. Now I don't have a real grill, but I do have a stovetop unit. It does good work. You have to scrape off the little prickly things from the cacti, but that's not a huge deal. I've consulted with my sauce guru (Jenn of jennsfoodjourney) as to what would be a good complement to these do-dahs.
Her recommendation: “For grilling.. I would just drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper... slap it on the grill... simple simple. Now, to jazz it up a bit, you could make a sauce..... something like mayo, lemon juice, garlic, worcestershire, parmesan cheese.... or sour cream, whole grain mustard, some lemon juice, salt and pepper..... “
I'm torn between the simple first method and the sauce ideas. Aha! I've got it: an avocado sauce with cumin and lime and Mexican crema – sort of like leaning toward guacamole.
I wrote the above a few days ago and just did the deed last evening. Peter refers to nopales as Mexican zucchini (that is, no taste and a nebishy texture). However, as I did with zucchini a few years ago, I found a method for my madness. This was fun. If you've never tried these Mexican ping pong paddles, slap your family with them some night. Then write – to me. And the Peter-meister liked them.
2 paddles per person, scraped free of needles
1 avocado, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Mexican crema to taste
cumin, to taste
lime juice, taste
salt and pepper to taste
Heat stovetop or other grill over medium-high heat. Brush the nopales with oil and grill about 4 minutes per side until grill marks appear and the cacti are tender. While they cook place the remaining ingredients into your food processor and puree. You will have to tinker with the texture and flavor. A lot depends on how many nopales you are preparing.
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