Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Nopalitos en Salsa con Chorizo

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-5 servings
Nopalitos en salsa con chorizo are delicious for brunch lunch or dinner! The added crispy potato makes for a satifying dish.

In my house, nopalitos en salsa (cactus in salsa) was a dish typically served on the weekends. A pile of freshly warmed tortillas and some fresh avocado is a must when serving this dish. If you are unfamiliar with nopales (cactus), the texture is very much like green beans. They have a slightly tart flavor and pair well with a variety of ingredients. Nopalitos en salsa is one of the more popular meatless tacos throughout Mexico during Lent. Other popular ways to enjoy this delicious cactus dish is with chorizo, pork or picadillo (ground beef). The nopales are so versatile when it comes to cooking them! During the summer, I enjoy them grilled.


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  1. Heat a skillet to medium. Add the 1/4 cup of oil and let warm up for a few minutes. Tear the dried chile guajillo into smaller pieces and add to the oil. Cook, turning as needed until the chiles become aromatic and slightly change color. Remove from pan. Remove excess oil from pan, leaving at least 1 tablespoon.
  2. In that same pan, add the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Add the chicken broth into skillet. Add guajillos to skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer all of the salsa ingredients from the skillet to the blender. Add the bouillon, oregano, cumin, pepper and salt to taste. Blend on high until very smooth and strain into a bowl using a wire-mesh strainer to remove skins and seeds remaining. Set aside.
  4. Fry the potatoes in shallow oil (1/4 cup) while you finish the dish. Set aside.
  5. In a skillet, add the chorizo and heat to medium. Cook the chorizo for 6 minutes, crumbling with wooden spoon as it cooks. Take out excess grease at this time, if you like. Add the strained salsa and bring to a low simmer. Taste for seasonings. Add the nopales and cook for 5 minutes. Fold in the crispy fried potatoes. To serve, garnish with cilantro, avocado and thin sliced onions. Serve with tortillas.

Chef Notes

Nopales can be frozen fresh or cooked once cleaned to remove any prickers. They are delicious as a meatless option for any meal! Saute with onions and chile peppers, then add scrambled eggs. Delicious brunch tacos ready to go!

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