Foodie Blogroll

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Try something new - Cactus

I am always game to try something new. You all know that, if I see something in the store that I haven't heard of I want to try it. In the produce section, something I've seen several times, but walked on by....cactus. When I saw Nathan post all about cactus on his blog La Cocina De Nathan: Cuban, Spanish, Mexican, Cooking & More I wanted to take a second look. I have a large prickly pear cactus in my front yard, but I wasn't sure if that was the eating kind. The cactus Nathan was using was from his friends yard, but looked a little thinner than mine. So the next time I was in the produce section of the store I saw them in I picked some up to try.
First off you have to clean them up without getting poked with the thorns, trim around the edges just cutting all around the pad. Then laying the pad flat scrape with the knife on a slight angle cutting off all the poky things. Rinse well, then pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning. His mom used a meat seasoning with a little orange juice, so that's what I tried. I didn't have the kind she had and either did he, I guess it's from Mexico. I used a meat seasoning that I had. Drizzle with some oil...

Then pan fry it around five minutes on each side, until done (ha! like that one? How do you know when it's done?) Just kidding...he said 4-5 minute per side.

It had a very unique flavor yet seemed familiar. It is tangy, like a lime or lemon, almost like it was pickled. It was okay, but I think it would be better in something, like a stew or salad. If you use it in a stew you boil it first with onions, sliced in strips. I've seen it sliced and jarred in the store, but haven't tried it that way either. Of course the most difficult part is cleaning them, but once you get used to handling them it was OK. I didn't get too many photos of it, I guess I was too engrossed in the job to take more clicks. It wasn't the prettiest when all was done, but it was fun and I glad I did it. It seems my cactus is edible too...maybe next time I try that!
Try something new and let me know!