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Prep 20 mins
Cook 10 mins
Named for the flat soles of the country people's sandals that they resemble. Originating at the Nopal Fair in Tlaxcalancingo, Puebla, Mexico and to be found at food vendors in Mexico City.
- 6 large nopales (prickly pear cactus paddles, cleaned of spines and glochids)
- 1⁄4 medium white onion
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 6 slices manchego cheese or 6 slices monterey jack cheese or 6 slices gouda cheese
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup flour
- 3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
- corn oil (for frying)
- Place the whole cactus paddles, onion and garlic in a large pot with water to cover and salt to taste.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the nopales are tender but still firm.
- Drain and rinse.
- Starting at the wide, curved end, carefully slice each paddle horizontally, as if butterflying a chop for stuffing.
- Do not cut all the way through to the narrow end (the thicker part where the pad is attached to the main plant) but leave approximately 1 1/2" uncut.
- Place a slice of cheese between the two sections and press flat.
- Dredge the paddles in flour.
- Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and fold in the lightly beaten egg yolks.
- Pour enough oil into large skillet so that it comes up at least 1/2 inch.
- Heat the oil until sizzling hot.
- Dip the stuffed nopales in the egg batter to coat and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on each side.
- Serve immediately with red salsa.
I finally located some fresh nopales, and this was a very nice way to use them. They were a bit fussy to stuff, but my nopales may have been a lot thinner than the usual (they were too thin to be split in half at some parts). The batter was nice and fluffy, and the final product was good with hot sauce. Thanks for posting!