Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nopale Bison Tacos

The Lowdown:

Okay, let's just say this was an experiement to try to cook, write, and photograph a blog session in an hour an a half. That's not what I intended initially - not even by a long shot. Regardless, here I am trying to get myself out of a jam again. I don't even like jam. Marmalade and jelly can get added to that list as well. Okay, any fruit related toast spread is not in my good books. Jam; however, is at the top of this list because I'm stuck in one right now (what a stupid saying anyway, which further makes me dislike jam at the moment). Like any good get-out-of-a-jam artist, I have a few go-to options. Actually, to be fair, everyone has the same one. TACOS. They are loved by adults, children, and anyone who is a hybrid mixture of the two (like myself). In fact, they are so easy to create that I'm making them as we... speak?

I guess I should consider myself lucky that while in this time management mishap I was fortunate enough to have everything on hand. Nopales on hand... WTF? To be fair, the only reason I have cactus paddles (nopales) on hand is because there is a grocery store in town that is open 24 hours a day. Splendid! I can now shop at 1:30am. No more children, whom were clearly raised by neglegent parents, running around with their miniature shopping carts acting like they are in a destruction derby and not a grocery market. I know that was me 25 years ago... Okay, maybe even 20 years ago, but still! I digressed. The point is, I can calmly hunt and gather now. No distractions. No kids. Nobody rushing to get last minute items for dinner. No kids. No kids. Did I say no kids? Yes, this whole paragraph was, in fact, to reiterate why I had napoles on hand at a time like this.

I should also be thanking Girlichef for her idea. I would thank her for the recipe, but to be honest, there was just too much writing. No time to read. Cook, eat, go. If you were reading two posts ago, you'll remember that showering isn't the best idea when you are cooking. However, considering my time restraints, I will be performing this daunting task again. Not to mention, trying to look decent, having a beer, and getting dressed. Err, I'm not sure if it will be in that order.

Now, for my busy night... at music bingo? Seriously, I'm in this much of a rush to get to music bingo? Well, maybe it's the $5 martinis. Maybe it's the corny 80's and 90's music. Maybe it's just getting out of the house on a monday. Either way, here's to a successful rush job on dinner. Tacos, you've once again saved me.

The Playlist:

3 Morita chilis
2 Pasilla chilis
1 Chipotle chili
1 Red onion, chopped
5 cloves Garlic
2 Tomatoes
1 tsp Cumin, ground
2 cups Water
Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 lbs Meat (I used bison), cubed
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Navy beans, dried
1 Lime, peals only
1 tbsp Red wine vinegar

3 Nopales (cactus paddles), de-thorned & cut into 1 inch squares

Cilantro, to taste

The Skinny:

  1. Combined all the first layer of ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and allow the flavours to mingle (sort of like speed dating I suppose).
  2. In large sauce pan: heat oil then add meat and brown on all sides. Add enough water to fully cover the meat, then add navy beans, lime peals, and red wine vinegar. Simmer on medium-low for an hour (or until beans soften and water is reduced to near-dry).
  3. In small pot: bring enough water to submerge nopales to a boil, then add nopales and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove napoles from the water and set aside.
  4. In large sauce pan: add tomato mixture to the meat, cover, and simmer for 20-40 minutes. Add napoles and cilantro, then remove from heat.
  5. Serve with warm tortillas, or as tacos in this case.

Stay Rad -h

Featured on: Chef in Training, Premeditated Leftovers, 33 Shades of Green, Food Renegade, Lady Behind the Curtain, A Little Nosh,


  1. Great post. I found you via the Tuesday Talent Show from Chef in Training
    I have linked a pizza I did with leftover roast chicken. Have a good week.

    Ps now following you via GFC

    1. I will definitely have a good week. Glad you stopped in, and thanks for sharing the pizza creation.


  2. A real unique treat...Quite interesting!
    I would like to invite you to Yumgoggle. Your phenomenal photos have caught our attention, we have been on the lookout for unique and interesting bloggers since we launched our food photo submission site which is http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery/ This will allow you to showcase all your great work and share it with our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! Sorry for the shameless plug to our site =)

  3. Gorgeous Tacos! Amazing job getting it all done on a time constraint. I am always working on a time budget - my hope is to be past critical phase before my unsupervised 5 year old does damage to the house, photograph before the hungry teenagers who should be watching the 5 year old dive in and start eating, and pull it together in a post before my husband starts complaining that I am neglecting him for my computer. I usually fail in all of my goals.

    1. You're time constraints are much more involving than mine forsure. I guess music bingo really isn't that much of a time constraint.


  4. I've been wondering how I should cook cactus paddles. Thanks for the idea!

    1. I saw it a long time ago on another blog, then when I found them it almost seemed like fate. Funny thing is, I see them everywhere now.


  5. I love bison tacos, it just tastes beefier ... weird, but true. I have not cooked with cactus paddles before, I like how you added them there, great way to stretch the meal to include more guests. :) Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

    1. I think they are actually quite healthy for you as well, and it only seemed natural that they would go into a Mexican-esque dish. Thanks for stopping in again!