Search Feature

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ouch! Grilled Cactus-n-Shrimp Salad

I enjoy using the prickly pear cactus in the pasture for cooking or making jelly ..... and here  
but when I was in the store the other day, I found cactus pads already half-way cleaned. Thinking this would save time I brought a few home. :)




The pads still had a few thorns... 



So I got my trusty channellocks out of the kitchen drawer and found a nice sharp knife to clean the pads up a bit.  The channellocks are handy for holding the cactus while I scrape them with the knife. 
Those darned little thorns are painful if you get one stuck in your hand.  A strip of grey tape will pull them out most of the time but if left in your hand they will irritate the heck out of you. lol 







The cleaned washed cactus...



I had a few ears of "redneck" corn in my freezer. I call them "redneck" corn because they remind me of the friend who showed me how to freeze them this way. 
He has an upright freezer full of corn on the cob and homegrown steaks. That's all. :)
When the corn is ripe, he pick the ears and throws them straight into his freezer without doing anything else to them.  When he cooks on the grill he throws frozen steaks onto the fire and ears of frozen corn still in their husks...
Both the steaks and corn come out perfect. :)

I place the fresh picked corn into a bag before freezing so the silk won't get all over my freezer. 

When you want an ear, run the corn under water to soften the husk a bit, then peel. 







The corn kernals are plump and juicy, just like the day they were picked.  










Some of the salad fixins......



I grilled the corn and cactus first....




then added shrimp that was marinaded in olive oil, sherry and garlic....
















Cactus has a bit of "slime" like okra, so rinse it before using in the salad if you want...



I like to add what ever I have on hand.  Grilled cactus, grilled corn, black beans, minced green and red onions, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes. I like to add jicima when I have it. 




For the dressing I use 1/3 c red wine vinegar, 2/3 c oil, minced garlic, 1 TBs dijon, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste... Cayenne is a good addition too.



The grilled cactus and shrimp salad....



It was kinda tasty! :)





I know a lot of folks refer to the cactus as nopales... which is fine.
 I just call them cactus. 
When out in the pasture I never say "ouch, a nopales  thorn just poked me through my shoe" or "dang, another flat tire from running over a darned nopales "  
So when I cook em...they are still cactus to me.  :)

21 comments:

Prairie Cat said...

Oh how neat! I never thought about just tossing the whole cob into the freezer. What a great time saver.

Peggy said...

Enjoy reading your blog, Jeannie. We don't see cactus up here in Massachussetts, except in stores sold as houseplants. One of my "friends" gave me one as a gift a few years ago and I swore I'd never have another of those prickery things.
I didn't know the big ones could flatten a tire!

panthers76 said...

Hi Jeanie. What does a cactus taste like? I've never tried it before...

Thanks,

Bill

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I did'nt know they were called nopales. I also did'nt know you could put them in a salad like that. I guess I do learn something new everyday Jeanie. The cactus looks pretty good mixed with all the other goodies. I think I told you we actually have some prickly pear cactus not far from where I live, but it seems to be in that one spot that I know of, and I think one could get into alot of trouble for picking it. I think they are protected, but I'm not sure. One way to find out I guess. lol. Good looking feast anyway Jeanie.

Woodworkin' & Good Eats said...

Hi Cowgirl, Just found your blog and looks like we are on the same page with barbecue. I enjoy grilling, but smoking is my specialty. Nothing is quite as good as slow cooked ribs from the smoker. I'm your newest follower #710. If the numbers speak, you must be putting out some very good posts to have so many followers. I'd like to invite you over to my blog and hopefully you will want to follow me, too. My blog is primary woodworking and barbecue, with a few road/camping trips thrown in for good measure. Looking forward to sharing ideas, Steve

cowgirl said...

Thanks Prairie Cat! The corn comes out really nice. I like to bag it so the silk doesn't get all over the freezer. Hope it works out well for you.
Thanks for stopping by! :)

cowgirl said...

Thank you Peggy, I appreciate you stopping by my blog.
Those cactus can be a real pain. They flatten my lawn mower tires and when out in the pasture with a truck that has low ply tires I have to watch where I drive.
I do love the fruit and flowers on them though.
Hope you have a wonderful week! :)

cowgirl said...

Hi Bill!
They taste like a cross between a green bean and a green bell pepper. I like them best with a dressing. They are pretty bland without.

cowgirl said...

lol Mark I hope you don't get arrested for picking them. :)
I do remember that you have some growing close by. Maybe you could sneak out there and gather the fruit this fall. :)
How is your drywall project doing? Did you finish yet?
Hope you had a great weekend Mark, thanks! :)

cowgirl said...

Hi Steve, it's nice to meet you!
Sounds like we have a lot of interests in common. I will definately look at your blog, I appreciate you stopping by mine too.
Thank you! :)

cowgirl said...

Steve I just tried to sign up to your blog and google is having problems. I will try again soon.

April S. said...

So funny you posted this - my daughter was just asking if I knew how to cook cactus - they are studying the Dust Bowl in history. Being from Michigan this is a foreign concept, haha! I can't do shrimp but looks like your recipe would be tasty with chicken too. Thanks!

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I'm just trying to get started on the mudding Jeanie. I actually still have to put a little bit of drywall up yet first, just a little bit though. I'm still trying to get some heat in the house as it still gets pretty cold at night, and the mudding won't cure properly I hear. I bought a bunch of supplies today, so I will be ready for action soon. I know, I'm so slow. lol.

cowgirl said...

lol April that is funny! If you use the canned or jarred cactus, rinse them first. Sounds like an interesting lesson for you daughter. Sometimes the wind blows so much dirt here I think we'll have another dust bowl! lol
Good luck and thanks!! :)

cowgirl said...

Mark I didn't think about the temps.. I bet it is still pretty cold there at night.
You're not slow, I know better than that. :) You're just too busy!
Hope you are having a great week..

likeadeere said...

I'll try that with some sweet corn this year. We have a lot of it growing around here, but it's so hard to keep. Totally redneck! Thanks Jeanie.

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

THANK YOU!!!... for posting the links to your prickly pear jelly! I had my first taste of prickly pear ice cream a few years ago in Arizona. I live in Delaware and nobody knew what I was talking about when I spoke of prickly pear. I have these cactus in my flower beds and just told my husband that I thought those pink buds were what you made the jams/ice cream/ whatever from. Looking at your pictures confirm it is! I can't wait to try it this summer. If you don't hear back from me, you know I used the wrong plant and died, hahha

cowgirl said...

Hi Joe! Good to see ya. Hope you give it a try. The only down side I've found to it is the space the corn takes up in the freezer. Hope you have a big freezer. :)
Thanks Joe...

cowgirl said...

lol Thanks LB and you're welcome!! Your ice cream sounds great, I might have to try that this year...thanks!!

JazzCat said...

Jeanie, i had my first taste of grilled cactus paddles (Nopales Asados) today and I l♥ved it!
And your salad wouldn't stand a chance with me around! Looks Daggum Delicious!!

cowgirl said...

Wow JazzCat that is a coinsidence! :)
Glad to hear you liked them too.
Thanks!! :)