Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cooking with Yucca Flowers

This post would have looked perfect for St Patrick's Day. All because it' My pictures are anyway. A couple of days ago Sweetie and I had a late breakfast, aka, brunch consisting of nopalitos which I had in the fridge. Upon further thought, I decided to add a few more ingredients, because that's just how I roll. I'm always looking to add more layers of flavor to my meals. Our little herb garden had some nice cilantro ready for cutting, and I also found some dandelion weeds. Yes, I also cut some weedy greens which were growing nicely in the garden. I wish I had found some quelite or lamb's quarters to add more greenery to my little dish. I also cut some nice spinach leaves, just a few, and mixed in a very few epazote leaves as well. Brought everything inside, and rinsed all the leaves thoroughly. Then I remembered I also had a flower stalk from a wild yucca that Sweetie had brought from the ranch a couple of days before. I had already cleaned and rinsed it, and separated all the little white petals and stored them.

While sauteeing some onions and garlic cloves, I parboiled the nopalitos and then drained out the water. Next, into the pan went all the ingredients, nopalitos and all, and carefully seasoned with salt and pepper. I added some beaten eggs, and tada! Brunch was served! You then decide if you want to eat with a fork, or you can make some nice little tacos. If made with flour tortillas, around here the tacos are called 'mariachis'. Cute name for any taco made with flour tortillas.

This photo is more of a closeup to show the yucca petals, which show as bright green, almost like little pieces of green onions. They do have an unusual taste, they remind me of what steamed cabbage tastes like. A product from nature and the wild- and they're free!

It's just something a little different from the norm we are used to eating. Sometimes we take for granted that there are lots of edible things in our surroundings which can be put to use in our cooking. As long as they are not full of pesticides or chemicals, they're pretty safe to eat. You just have to know what they are. Around here, nopalito season is in full swing. There are so many tasty recipes you can make with them. Many people use them in salads as well. It's always a good idea to try and grow your own. But to use them, you have to know how to remove the prickly needles. I still haven't mastered that technique yet. So I buy mine from the grocery store already peeled and sliced. They're not expensive per se, but they're not cheap either. That's why this year I'm going to try and learn how to do the prepping myself.


Tracy said...

This is fascinating, YaYa...I've never tried those before, never tasted them... This looks good! :o)

Tufa Girl said...

I have a "spanish dagger" that is blooming now. My friends in my old neighborhood would cut the flower (with permission) for cooking. My question is - are all yucca flowers edible? Do some taste better than others?

Georgina said...

When I was a child, my mother would make nopalitos, and I never liked the gooey consistency, so I never grew an appetite for them. So after many years of not going near them, I tried them again, since I was going on a childhood palette. Well, I discovered, I still didn't like them!!! My mother made a pot full and it smelled wonderful and since they're great for diabetics, I succumbed to giving them another try...nope, off my list forever!! LOL

You and Gloria have such wonderful ideas and many of your dishes are down right native or Pre-Colombian...what a pleasure to read about your dishes.


tea time and roses said...

Hello Dear Idalia!

Thank you so much for the sweet comment left, you are a dear my friend.:o)

I would love to sit at your dinner table and share a meal with you!!:o) You are one fabulous cook! As you spoke of all the herbs and other ingredients added to this lovely dish, I could imagine how all those flavors must be wonderful together, delightful!!

I remember the sausage recipe you shared some time ago, and still plan to try the "sweet tamales" for sure! Keep the recipes coming they are fantastic!

Take care and enjoy a lovely coming weekend. By the way, checking your page on FB you have been winning some swaybucks girl, that is great!!



YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Tracy! You pretty much have to find them in either the wild, or in xeriscaped landscapes in the south/southwest. I don't think any restaurants offer dishes using the flours. But it's an interesting thing to taste.

TufaGirl, I assume it's the same edible flower. However, I'm told the florets must be closed, because once open they'll have all sorts of little insects.

Georginna, I can understand how you could be turned off by the way nopalitos are 'slimy' when you cut into them. But I've found that once you boil them, and especially when you actually cook them with oil, that is no longer an issue. Not at all. they're just so refreshing and taste so good with all the aromatics: garlic, onions,celery,green pepper, cilantro.

Hi, Beverly! Glad to have you visit old friend! Yes, Swagbucks has been very good to me. But it's all for the fun of it, you know that.LOL!

Nathan said...

Never heard of Yuca flowers, but I know i love "Flor de Calabasa" (squash blossoms)

My mom makes the Nopales with Huevos too, except she boils thinly julienned nopales with 1/2 onion and some garlic cloves and salt oh and cilantro, drains it, then sautees onion, serrano chili or jalapeno, then garlic, finally diced tomatoes, stirs in the nopales and seasons with salt and pepper then adds beaten egg and gently folds until fully cooked. Or sometimes my mother will use a seasoning called Chef Merito which is a very FLAVORFUL mexican spice blend of salt, sugar, citric acid, black pepper, cumin, paprika, star anise, msg, onion powder, and oregano it's really tastey and my mom likes it.

Haha I'm good at peeling nopales and so is my mother too, my mom learned from what she calls "guarecitas" (the little Indian ladies that sell things) and passed on the technique on to me.

Someday I'll do a post with a step by step pictorial on cleaning and prepping nopales I'll let you know.

YayaOrchid said...

Nathan please hurry with that tutorial! Nopalitos are sprouting all over the place and I need to harvest them pretty soon, LOL!

I'm also gonna be on the lookout fo that Chef Merito seasoning. I've never seen it around here.
P.s. I just made some white rice using your recipe and it turned out DELICIOUS!! thanks for sharing!

Renee said...

Just stopping by to say Hello and to wish you and your family a wonderful Easter. Take care!

YayaOrchid said...

Renee! So good to hear from you! Likewise!


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