Cactus in Red Chile Sauce
with Shrimp Patties
This is a very old recipe which still uses dried shrimp even though
fresh shrimp are in great supply.
Red Chile Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and finely minced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1/2 cup ground dried red chile*
- 1 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup fresh nopalitos, cut into 1/4-inch strips and boiled for 15 minutes
* use mild, medium or hot chiles
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup ground dried shrimp
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Red Chile Sauce: Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and
garlic in oil until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground red
chile, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Take care not to
inhale the vapors from the chile. Stir in the water to make a sauce,
then reduce the heat to medium-low. Fold in nopalitos and cook the
sauce, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes. Do not add salt to
the sauce, since the shrimp patties are somewhat salty. Cover and
keep the sauce warm.
- Shrimp Patties: Separate eggs by putting the yolks in a small dish and the whites
in a large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until
they are stiff. Continue to beat the stiffened egg whites as you
add the ground shrimp and then the egg yolks to make a batter. Beat
only until all the ingredients are blended.
- Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat
to approximately 400 degrees F. Ladle 1/4 cup batter into the skillet.
It should float and begin to sizzle immediately. Fry the shrimp
patty, turning once with a spatula, until golden, about 1 minute
per side. Remove the patty with a slotted spoon to a large plate
lined with paper towels and drain. Repeat the procedure until all
the batter is used. This makes about 9 or 10 patties.
- To serve, pour red chile sauce with the nopalitos on each of 4 plates
to make a pool. Place 2 shrimp patties in the center of each pool.
Serve at once with rice and beans and warmed flour or corn tortillas,
Serves 4 to 5.
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