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More Fun with Fresh Xoconostle

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In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Vegetarian>Vegan

Our local market again had xoconostle, the super sour prickly pears that are loaded with good nutrition and are a hoot to cook with.

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If the light in my kitchen looks angelic, it's because it is! A foggy morning makes my photos look as if a professional took them.

These are the xoconostle roasting on a clay comal (pan). You can see that the pan has a slip of cal on it to protect the clay. This is handiest for making tortillas but I have a dedicated comal to tortillas, another for vegetables and another for chiles. I'm a little obsessive and I love my toys.

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It takes a while for the fruit to roast, even on a moderate heat. They should be soft and hissing as they release some of their juices, but not burnt.

Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds and center pulp. I put them in a pitcher with some honey and water and in about a week I should have some mead.

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I had company this morning.

My friends in Hidalgo use the skins in their salsa and I've started doing the same. I was in a rush this morning, so I threw the xoconostle in a blender with some onions, garlic and fermented serrano chiles I'd made earlier, with a splash of water.

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The resulting salsa is plenty sour so there's no need for limes. I have pork chops in the fridge for tonight and I think they have a date with this salsa.



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