Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tortilla Wrapped Baked Feta with Nopalito Sauce

That certainly does sound like a mouthfull. And yes, they are a mouthfull! Tasty too. I was originally planning on using tomatillas instead of the cactus for the sauce, but I couldn't see opening a HUGE can of tomatillas (since I only needed a bit of sauce) when I had a jar of cactus strips.

There's also no pretty pictures of the process as I had a few other things to make and this was kind of a last minute throw-together. BUT, I do have some cool crayon drawings for slicing up the tortilla!

No idea what to call this, but it certainly was tasty. Here's what you need to make a side dish for 2 to go along with a big ole Mexican meal.

What you need:
One 10-inch flour tortilla
8 pieces of feta cheese, two inches by a half-inch by a half-inch
20 to 30 pickled nopalito cactus strips (with some of the sticky juice)
one fourth of a small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin powder (I LOVE cumin powder and seeds!)
a small bit of minced coriander (cilantro) leaves
1/4 tsp ginger powder
dash of sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup water

What you do:

Put the nopalito strips (with a couple of tbsp of the sticky juice from the jar), the onion, the garlic cloves, and the water into a blender. Then blend it. Blend it a lot.

Put the sauce (it should be a bit runny, if not add a bit more water) in a saucepan and add the 1/2 tsp Mexican seasoning, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, a small bit of minced coriander (cilantro) leaves, 1/4 tsp ginger powder,dash of sea salt, and the 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder.

Give it a good stir and simmer till reduced by half. Stir occasionally.

While that's simmerin', we get to slice the tortilla into 8 equal (sorta) pieces. It goes thusly:
tortilla 01
tortilla 02
tortilla 03
tortilla 04
tortilla 05

See? Wasn't that easy?

It gets even easier. Just roll each piece of feta in one of the tortilla pieces. Pack four of the rolled feta pieces into a large (4 and 1/2 inches in diameter) ramikin dish --four should pack in quite nicely. Then pack a second ramikin dish with the other four. Pour the reduced nopalito sauce into each dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins at around 350 F.

This made a very nice side dish with the shredded pork and other sundries. I'm sure you can adapt it to a main course, just depending on how much feta you can get your hands on or make.

When cutting the feta, use a wire. That way no matter how crumbly the feta is the piece will hold together. Also, the creamier the feta is, the easier it is to use in this recipe. I tend to make my feta so that it's consistency is halfway between Danish and Bulgarian; just creamy enough to spread, but still firm enough to sprinkle over salad: the perfect texture for wire slicing.

For the semi-creamy feta, you can substitute Quarg, Queso Blanco, or my Lemon Cheese. Or you could just go down to the shops and get some feta. Whatever is easiest for you!

BTW, WP (Wifey-Poo) said I can make this anytime, don't have to wait for a full-on Mexican meal.

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