Cactus (Nápoles) Relleno

This morning I am (possibly) challenging you to get a little adventurous with your greens!  Some of you may be giggling right about now, because you are all, “Ummm, I grew up eating cactus, this ain’t anything new.”  Hahaha, well, I feel like it is one of those ingredients that is either really common in your kitchen…..or you are like “whaaaat? Cactus????”

In truth, I have kind of always wanted to try cactus.  It was one of those ingredients in the produce aisle that always begged me to pick it up and run my fingers over the flesh that had been neatly tidied of all it’s thorns.  I really wanted to try it, but I had never cooked with it since I had been raised in a house where my mama cooked mostly French cuisine.  SO, today I thought I would give it a whirl, and take y’all on the journey.  No worries, the result was freaking awesome!!!  Since I am a cheese addict, I figured I would try turning them into a relleno.  This one is totally a “MUST repeat” and a “get in my mouth” kinda dish.  Check it out:

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Grab your ingredients below and start exploring!!

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Start by coating your nápoles with olive oil and placing them on a grill.  (I can only imagine this would taste even better cooked over a wood fired grill outside!)  Don’t forget to give these cuties a sprinkle of salt 🙂 .

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While they are grilling away, start to assemble your batter.

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Separate your four eggs and whip the whites into nice fluffy stiff peaks.

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Once your peaks are happy, add a small portion of your egg yolks back in and fold them into the whites.  (If “folding” is a new term for you, that simply means taking a rubber spatula and in one motion scraping down one side of the bowl, then along the bottom and then flipping the underneath bottom batter gently up over the top batter as you bring your spatula up the other side.)  Be careful to not flatten your fluffy egg whites.  Once mixed, fold in the rest of the egg yolks.

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Now, sprinkle 1/4 cup of your flour over the top and fold that into your batter.

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Back to those paddles which have taken on some super sexy grill marks!

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You basically want to make a cheese sandwich with your grilled nápoles and monterey jack.

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Dust the “sandwiches” with your remaining flour and then carefully give them a dip into your batter.
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Hahaha this is messy!  You are definitely going to feel like you are playing with your food 😉 .  Gently carry your dipped nápoles “sandwich” to a hot frying pan ready with olive oil or coconut oil.

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Flip and gorgeous!!

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Now, simply serve it with your fav salsa and a crumble of queso fresco.

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Ooey gooey delight!  The texture of the nápoles is perfection!  It has a lovely, juicy meatiness to it that would be a perfect star in almost any meatless dish.  I think I am in love!

Happy Saturday!  Fire up those grills!

xoxo,

Chanda

 

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Cactus (Nápoles) Relleno

If you've never tried cactus (nápoles) before than get ready for some authentic Mexican cuisine! This meatless dish is the perfect texture with a lovely, cheesy flavor that will make your tastebuds burst!!

Course: entree, Gluten Free, Main Course, Relleno, Side Dish, vegetarian
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
Cactus Relleno
  • 4 Nápoles (or cactus paddles)
  • olive oil or coconut oil (for grilling and frying)
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup salsa
Batter
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup flour, divided (I used gluten free all purpose flour)
Instructions
  1. Start by coating your nápoles with olive oil and placing them on a grill. Don't forget to give these cuties a sprinkle of salt.

  2. While they are grilling away, start to assemble your batter. Separate your four eggs and whip the whites into nice fluffy stiff peaks.

  3. Once your peaks are happy, add a small portion of your egg yolks back in and fold them into the whites. Be careful to not flatten your fluffy egg whites. Once mixed, fold in the rest of the egg yolks.

  4. Now, sprinkle 1/4 cup of your flour over the top and fold that into your batter.

  5. Back to the grilled nápoles, make a cheese sandwich using two nápoles and monterey jack. Dust the "sandwiches" with your remaining flour and then carefully give them a dip into your batter. Beware: this is very messy!

  6. Gently carry your dipped nápoles "sandwich" to a hot frying pan ready with olive oil or coconut oil. Let one side fry then flip it and fry the other side.

  7. Now, simply serve it with your fav salsa and a crumble of queso fresco.

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