Lent in San Antonio means that cactus paddle, whether in full paddle form or cleaned and diced, is available. Find the already-diced variety of nopales or nopalitos, which are been plentiful in H-E-B stores, and you’re on the way to making this dish. It works for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Nopalitos, Corn and Red Pepper Fritters
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced nopalitos (cactus paddle)
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup corn, from can or fresh (steamed or simmered until tender in hot water, drained well)
4 eggs, beaten until lightened in color, about 1 minute
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
Garnish: Warmed salsa or tomato sauce
Melt the 1 tablespoon butter (or substitute olive oil or cooking oil) in a saute pan. Add the nopalitos and red bell pepper. Saute gently until they are just tender, and the nopalitos are still a bright green.
Put in bowl and add the corn. Let cool a minute or two. Add the beaten egg, blend well. Put flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in small bowl and blend well. Add to the vegetable and egg mixture. Stir until well blended.
Melt the butter (or use cooking oil) in a skillet or saute pan and heat. When it is sizzling a little bit, but not browned or smoking, spoon in fritters by large tablespoonfuls. Don’t let them touch. Brown until one side is golden, then turn. Repeat until batter is used. Add more butter or oil as needed.
Serve with salsa or tomato sauce, warmed.
From Bonnie Walker