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 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 4
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Cooking with CactusPage 1 of 1    
Is the flesh meaty?...firm? ...squishy?...soft?

I mean...solid enough to slice for a salad?... or thick enough to grill ?
does it need to be cooked?...or always served as is?

what could you compare it to in taste, texture, etc...that it could replace in a dish?
 cowgirlcad_sus
Joined: 9/10/2008
Msg: 7
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Cooking with Cactus
Posted: 2/6/2010 8:46:05 PM
Nopales,

After cleaning the skin, they should be rinsed after cutting, then cooked, when boiled, add a clove of garlic and a bit of salt. Nopales can be prepared and served in many ways, my mother will add onions, tomato, and cilantro, also in different cooked dishes, mostly with pork, (carne con chile), also with scrambled eggs, and salads.
The smaller leafs are my favorite, they are not as slimy as the larger leafs. Fresh is the best way to go. I have tried the jar nopales just to taste the difference from fresh and jar. I have about 45 individual cactus growing here, Fresh is Best!
 cowgirlcad_sus
Joined: 9/10/2008
Msg: 8
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Cooking with Cactus
Posted: 2/6/2010 8:57:34 PM
Prickely Pears,

they do come in different colors, if you can find them in the store, they are already cleaned from the fine prickly hair thorns. My favorite ones are the green ones, almost the color of kiwi meat, inside. Peel the skin, I then put them in the frig until they get cold. When cold Squeeze some real lemon juice, and a tad of salt and eat., Or eat them straight out of the frig. They do have pits through out the meat of the Prickely Pears, about the size of a bee bee , you don't spit them out , nor bit down on the pits. Not good to eat to many in one sitting though, can cause one to have problems on the thrown..
lol..nope never happened to me, I eat about two now and then...very taste!
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 9
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Cooking with Cactus
Posted: 2/7/2010 7:39:43 AM
WOW!!...thank you ladies for those explanations.... cactus...one of the few things I have not knowlingly consumed. -- yes, I've been to Mexico....lol

We do have a lot of specialty stores here in Vancouver...and one or two local Mexican food restaurant/shops on the North Shore, so I will check it out next time I am out and about. It never occurred to me to see it there was cactus in can or jars.

thank you.... going to explore this.
 SAguy_06
Joined: 10/8/2009
Msg: 11
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Cooking with Cactus
Posted: 2/7/2010 2:36:05 PM
Nopalitos con chile

if from a can or jar, rinse the brine off well.

In a large pan saute 1 lb ground chuck or diced chuck, use lean beef.
add diced onion, 1 garlic clove smashed, 1 tspn cumin powder,salt and pepper. use lean beef.

add 2 sliced tomatos to beef and 2 chipotle peppers with 2 tbspn adobo
add water to cover beef, add rinsed nopales.

simmer till tomato breaks down.
 texasbaby
Joined: 7/21/2005
Msg: 13
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Cooking with Cactus
Posted: 2/7/2010 6:34:50 PM
When I lived in New Mexico I had a huge Prickly Pear bed in my yard and made jelly every year.
I don't know about wiping the thorns off with paper towels, I never tried that. Instead I held the fruit with a pair of metal kitchen tongs and singed off the thorns over my gas burner, then rinsed them well before cooking.
The thorns are awful, some are so fine you can barely see them,, if you get them in your fingers ~ ouch ~ it will ruin your day.
But, the jelly is the most beautiful deep ruby red I ever saw. I loved it in the small half pint jars for gift baskets at Christmas time.

tb
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