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Guisado de nopales (stewed cactus paddles)

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Guisado de nopales (stewed cactus paddles)
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
1

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Trim, clean and wash the cactus. Cut each paddle into half-inch squares. Drop the cactus pieces into the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.

2

Trim the stem ends of the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes into quarters. Place them in a blender container with the onion and one-fourth cup water. Blend thoroughly.

3

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the tomato mixture, epazote, chicken base and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.

4

Add the cactus squares and the remaining one-fourth cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently, uncovered, 5 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin with a little water.

From Inelva Carrasco Espinosa of Oaxaca.

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