what in the world am i to do with this huge jar of nopalitos i bought?
ive chopped them and sauteed them with black beans, used small amounts in tacos and also used them in salads.
any other ideas would be helpful.
I've seen them in Mexican 'cheese fondue' appetizers. Not a true fondue, but more of a melted-cheese-with-other-stuff type thing: cheese with salchicha, cheese with pavo, cheese with rez, and cheese with nopalitos.
I've also seen them in Mexican scrambled eggs.
We use ours in scrambled egg breakfast burritos.
I saute a little onion in some olive oil and butter and then add the nopalitos and the eggs.
Ok. Here it is: Cactus Chicken. This is so so so easy, and so freaking delicious. And a hit at parties by the way.
1 large jar nopalitos
1 large can tomatillos, drained (but don't puncture the tomatillos if you can help it - you don't want to lose the natural juices/brine inside of them)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
6 boneless skinless chx thighs, cut into strips
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped (or a small can/jar of chopped green chilies)
4 c. (1 box) of chicken broth
Fresh lime wedges
Brown the chicken in a heavy bottomed pot (I prefer my dutch oven). Add onions, saute over medium heat until softened. Add tomatillos, nopales, tomato paste, and chiptoles in adobo. Stir to combine (feel free to bust the tomatillos at this point). Add chx broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover. Stir after about 30 minutes. At the 45 minute mark, remove the lid, and begin stirring aggressively -- this will help to shred the chicken pieces. Taste for seasoning and add more heat (chipotle powder works well), salt, or acid (lime juice) if needed. The Cactus Chicken is ready when is has a stew-like consistency (usually about an hour all told). Chop fresh cilantro and toss in once you remove the pot from the heat. Serve either in bowls like a stew, or as a filling for tortillas (we like this accompanied by guacamole and shredded cheese).
My mom makes this with beef and it works well that way too. I imagine it's also delicious with pork.
I make a pork chili nopales one pot meal. If it has a name I don't know it. My mother use to make it all the time.
1- small chopped onion
3-4 pork chops or equivalent cubed
1-can Herdez salsa casera
2-3 cups nopales
extra mild salsa or smaller can of chopped tomatoes (optional as needed)
garlic salt or fresh garlic can be used
saute onion & fresh garlic if using in a little oil. then add pork pieces and brown so you don't see any pink meat. add herdez, nopales, and extra salsa or liquid if needed. if you like it spicey you can add another can of herdez. I usually have enough liquid that pork nopal mixture is not quite covered. Add cumin, garlic salt if not using fresh garlic, then allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender.
we put this in a taco or on top of a tostada shell topped with refried beans.
I also make an easy saute nopal dish with olive oil, onion, chili de arbol, and nopales. Just let the chili de arbol flavor the oil before adding the onion and nopales. This makes a great appetizer or side dish.