Nopales con Chiles Poblanos - Nopales with Poblano Chiles
By Chef Diana Kennedy


3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup White Onion thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups Poblano Chiles loosely packed strips
Salt to taste
1 1/2 pounds Cactus Leaves (Nopales) (Nopales) cleaned and cut into small squares about 1/4 inch (makes 5 cups)
2 tablespoons Cilantro or Epazote chopped (optional)


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the chile strips, salt to taste, and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until tender but not soft, about five minutes. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, deep skillet, add the cactus pieces with a little salt, cover, and cook over medium heat until they are almost swimming in the viscous juice, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring from time to time to avoid sticking until the juice has been absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the chile strips and epazote or cilantro, adjust the seasoning, and serve either hot or at room temperature.

This dish can be prepared several hours ahead and then reheated, but it is always better to let it sit and season for about 30 minutes before serving. Serve as a separate course, as a side-dish vegetable, or as a filling for tacos.