Monday, May 17, 2010

Cactus Quesadilla

I love these small 4 ounce pucks of Mexican Queso Fresco. The cheese is crumbly like feta, but with a milder taste, and it's a salty curd. I put it into everything I can think of: simmered in a Calabasitas stew of squash, tomato, chile and zucchini; melted into an avocado omelet; crumbled over salads; and in Cactus Quesadillas.

I have been finding jars of cactus at my local Latin market and 99c only Store lately; and have been trying to come up with uses for these sliced, peeled, unprickly paddles. They have a taste similar to okra, just lighter in flavor. You can sprinkle some over a salad like you would with canned beets, or heat them up as part of a vegetable soup.

Because wheat tortillas are priced at a dollar a package, I've recently started adding cactus to quesadillas. The cactus is pickled, so you need to drain it, and pat it dry with a paper towel, or small puddles of water will form in this cheesy Mexican delicacy. For a quick and unusual dish, try out my Cactus Quesadilla.

Ingredients (1 serving)1 flour or wheat tortilla.
2 ounces of Queso Fresco - half of the 4oz. package. Okay to substitute with your favorite cheese.
2 tablespoons of cactus - drained and patted dry with paper towel. 

Heat pan or grill. Drain and pat dry cactus from jar. Place tortilla on grill or pan and crumble cheese onto half of tortilla. Add drained and dried cactus over cheese. Fold in half and lightly brown tortilla on each side until cheese is melted.


Unknown said...

I'm not much of a cheese person but I absolutely love queso fresco. I also love nopales. Never tried them in a quesadilla though. Definitely going to try this. I buy huge packs of uncooked flour tortillas from Costco though so I'll use those. Thanks!

Dinahsoar said...

Mentioned this recipe to husband and he is curious about the cactus. We head to TX soon where there are several 99cent stores--and they are on our list of things to do/see. Must give the cactus a try.

Kait said...

It's amazing what one can find at the 99 cent store. Great way to try out-of-the-norm ingredients.

Kelly said...

I recently purchased some Queso Fresco at our .99 cent store and was really pleased with the texture and flavor .
Our 99 cent store(in Texas) is directly across the street from a large Latin/multi-culture grocery chain called Fiesta .
Thai sticky rice and nopales all under the same roof !!!

twinkletoe said...

I'm gonna try those as soon as I can get to my 99 cent store!!

Unknown said...

I just wanted to come back and thank you for the idea. I just got done making them and they were soo good. I don't live near a 99 cent store so things cost a bit more and I made them using homemade corn tortillas and served them with salsa. So good though. Thanks!

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Rebecca, I'm glad you tried the recipe and it's always nice to hear that it actually worked! Not everyone has a well stocked dollar (or 99c) store, but my recipes are easily adaptable for sale items at regular markets, too.

The Diligent Diletante said...

so glad i stumbled onto your page! love 99cent stores as well as their prime competition dollar tree. why pay more if you dont have to? =)

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