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Cooking is one way that makes me feel closer to my familia and cultura. I’m so blessed to have known all four of my grandparents and even four of my great-grandparents. One thing that I remember most about my paternal abuela is that she used to cook fresh nopales (cactus) that she grew in her back yard. Mmmmmmm! However, she passed before I was smart enough to sit with her and learn all her recipes. You can imagine that that makes the time I still have with my maternal abuela that much more special. So, when I need to know how to cook a cultural dish, I call her. Thankfully, she answers and patiently walks me through whichever dish I’m wanting to recreate.
I’ve been cutting back on red meat in my diet and that means I’m needing more vegetarian recipes. I called mi abuela to get her nopales recipe. I know I’ll never cook exactly how my grandmothers did but I try my best in hopes that mi familia will have some great memories with some tasty food. After she wished me good luck, I headed to La Michoacana to gather my supplies. This local tiendita had everything I needed including corn tortillas, extra virgin olive oil, fresh produce and the La Morena pickled jalepenos that I needed for spice were right next to the nopales.
I followed my grandma’s recipe and then decided to turn it into a breakfast taco. Tacos are always a good idea. When I finished the final dish, I ‘texted’ my grandma a photo of the dish. She called me back immediately and said that it looked delicious! Of course, I promised to make it for her very soon. I consider it an honor to have her try my cooking. Plus, it means more time I get to spend with her.
RECIPE: My Recreation of My Abuela’s Nopales
1 cup chopped nopales (cactus)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 can pickled jalepeños (chopped)
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For tacos: corn tortillas and 2 eggs
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the nopales and cook to a boil for approximately 10 minutes.
Heat the EVOO in a pan.
Drain the nopales and add to the hot oil.
Add onion, garlic, tomatoes to nopales. Sautee for 3 minutes.
Add pickled jalepeños and continue to cook for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Serve on plate. Add queso fresco per your preference.
For tacos: After you remove nopales mixture from pan, scramble two eggs in same pan. Return nopales mixture and heat all the way through. Serve in warm corn tortillas.
Queridos, I’ve shared with you what makes me feel close to familia and cultura. Leave a comment below telling me what are some of your favorite dishes that make you feel close to your familia?
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