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, April 7, 2010

Nopalitos and Other Ramblings

I finally did it! I actually went and cut some pencas de nopal, or cactus paddles, fresh off the plant, myself! That of course is not the challenging part. Removing the needles is. And really, I have to say that the cactus I have growing in my garden are rather tame compared to those growing in the wild. Mine are what some would call 'finos' or fine because they have few needles. These are the kind which produce the deliciously sweet fruit called 'tunas'. The ones in the wild produce fruit which is only very slightly sweet. I was lucky in acquiring a specimen of the variety I have.

I proceeded to look through some YouTube videos to learn how to remove the spines. Tried to do it just being careful with my left hand, and holding the knife in my right hand to remove the pesky needles. Ouch! They got me anyway! So back again to watching the videos. I saw in one how a young lady was wearing some latex gloves. Lucky for my my Sweetie had some in his briefcase from work. So I wore one on my left hand, and held the knife with my ungloved right hand. I then proceeded to scrub the paddles with the knife at an angle, and the needles easily fell off. Also worked the other side. Then I removed the outer edge along the whole perimeter of the paddle. Done! After finishing my stack, it was merely a matter of carefully rinsing them and putting them in a pot to boil. A few minutes later I drained them and proceeded to use them in my recipe for Nopales with Egg and Chorizo. I know I just recently posted about cooking nopales. But this was extra special for me because I harvested these myself! I learned something new! That's what brings me joy. Learning. And let me tell you, chorizo is good with just about anything, even pasta. Maybe next time I'll show my recipe for that.

I also made a simple side of pinto beans with Mexican Queso Fresco.

Made by simply cooking onions, sliced jalapeno peppers, garlic, and finally a couple of chopped tomatoes in a little bit of oil, to which the beans are added and brought to a simmer. Last some diced white cheese is added, along with a little bit of cilantro. Very nice with the nopalitos. Peasant food at its finest! The chorizo gave us just enough 'meat' to feel satisfied with an otherwise meatless meal. And don't forget how nice flour tortillas go with this!

On a different note, I just realized this is actually my 301st post. It feels nice to see that I've stuck with blogging because many times I've wanted to just close it up and forget about it. I'm going to try and challenge myself to stick with it until at least post #500! We'll see how that goes. So until next time happy blogging!


Tracy said...

Oh, such delicious food, YaYa... The beans & queso fresco are calling me! Happy 300+ posts! I'm glad you're still here! :o) Many times I've thought of stopping blogging too.. but I know some friends would miss me, and my family being far away, my blog is like a window into our life... so I'm still here too...LOL! Happy Days ((HUGS))

Georgina said...

My mother also has a bumper crop of cacti in her side of her front yard. There's also some wild cacti growing behind her house. I offered to pick and prepare them for her enjoyment since I'm not a fan of nopalitos at all...I think I mentioned that concerning you last blog on the subject. She laughed and said it was just easier for her to buy a package at the store!! Makes sense to me...the cacti growing in the yard and wild in the back are not too friendly...they have HUGE stickers on them and would have had to wear thick work gloves to get to them...not fun!!

I enjoy your recipes and your love of cooking and other passions. Congrats on you 301 posts...that calls for a celebration...what time is dinner!! LOL

Gloria said...

Hi yaya. I've missed your postings. Glad to see you are posting again. Nopalitos are my favorites. Take care.

YayaOrchid said...

Tracy, i'm glad the beans and queso looked good to you! They really are!! LOL! And i'm glad you're still blogging too.

Thanks Georginna! It is nice to harvest your own just for the sake of making use of what's there. But I probably wouldn't do it if they were the wild kind. Those needles are mean looking!

Hi Gloria! I'm happy you stopped by! I was actually inspired by you to try and learn how to work those nopalitos. Glad I did! You take care too and have a great weekend!

Tufa Girl said...

Yaya, you made me hungry again! I love making things from scratch. I can hardly wait until spring is over and I have time to cook again.

Elaine said...

Yaya.....Dropping by to say "hi". The beans and queso fresco looks so good. I always learn something from you. Wow, over 300 posts! That's quite an accomplishment. I'm not even at 100 yet! Glad you've decided to keep on blogging. I've had an extremely busy weekend and haven't had much time to stop by my favorite blogs (of which yours is one) this morning I'm just enjoying myself with a cup of coffee and some good blog reading. :)

Hope you have a great week ahead!

Elaine :)

tea time and roses said...

Hello Dear Idalia!

Congratulations on over 300 post, a wonderful accomplishment my friend!:o)

Another yummy recipe! I love your recipe post.:o) It has been quite busy as of late in my little studio, but I tell you I am so pleased with how things are going. You take care my friend and chat with you soon.:o)



Renee said...

Stopping by to say Hi! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Have a great weekend.

NORA said...

Yaya, supongo que hablas español, estoy feliz de encontrarte, te vi en el sitio de Nathan. Tengo que venir a ver tu página, la veo muy linda. Mira que ponerte a pelar nopales, la verdad yo también lo haría y se me está ocurriendo sembrar una penca en el jardín. Te espero en mi blog


Por que tienes moderados los comentarios

Nathan said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm que rico!!!! I bet those beans were amazing!!!, kiss the beans with a touch of cumin you might like it more ;) not alot just 1/2 tsp. or 1 tsp. trust me.

my mom got a bunch I mean a BUNCH of nopales so be ready for several nopal dishes coming up this week in my blog. Maybe some "Carne de Puerco en Chile Verde Con Nopales" or "Tortitas de Camaron en Chile Colorado Con Nopales" or "Fabas Con Nopales", or "Nopales Rellenos" the possibities are many :)

YayaOrchid said...

Hola Nora! Que gusto que visites por aqui! La razon que modero los comentarios, es solo porque si son 'posts' mas de dos semanas, a veces se me pasan. No me quiero perder ni un solo comentario, LOL!

Enseguida voy a visitarte!

Nathan, nopales con tortas de camaron en chile colorado are my favorite way of earing nopalitos! My absolute favorites! I can hardly wait to see your new posts and recipes!

Nathan said...

I posted the tortas de camaron en chile colorado for you :) got to making them today :)


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