Featured Foodie Friday: Foodness Gracious

Guess what? Another week is already over and Valentine’s day is long gone. This was a very action packed week for me with Valentine’s reservations all weekend/week at work, surfing and going to the beach… Yes life is hard, haha. With all the sunshine I have had this week, this recipe seems like a perfect fit for this week’s Featured Foodie Friday. Our guest blogger this week is a great guy, Gerry, from Foodness Gracious. Gerry and I share a similar taste for unique and interesting food, if you are intrigued by it as well definitely check him out.
Cactus Fries & Salad w/ Ancho Chile Dip
Hi, My name is Gerry and I’m the name behind the blog, Foodness Gracious. I have been blogging for almost a year now and still feel like giving my all for every post I choose to write about. I love food and would rather sit down to read my Bon Appetit than the Los Angeles Times. My favorite meal would be a giant plate of charcuterie along with a bottle of spicy red Zin, eating like that every day would put me in a happy place. I like to cook for other people and always end up making too much. My dream vacation would be a week in the hills of Tuscany learning to cook Italian style.

I was more than happy to guest post for Jenny, I have been following her blog for some time now and admire her love for good food. I don’t think that’s something you just come up with but something learned from a very early age. She has some fantastic recipes on Savour The Senses with one of my favorites being her Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza! My inspiration for today’s post came from a vacation I had last weekend in the beautiful city of Sedona, Arizona. I had heard from a few friends that Sedona was lacking in good places to eat, and sadly I would have to agree. I saw many places advertising cactus fries made from the paddles of the prickly pear cactus. I had to try these but when they arrived at my table all I had was a pile of limp, half breaded pieces of the leaf. I then made up my mind to try to emulate these when I got back home, It couldn’t be that hard could it? It wasn’t in fact the hardest part was removing the spikes from the leaves which did result in a few finger pricks. The end result made it worth while though. Tall, crunchy and proud looking cactus fries which I dipped in a spicy ancho chili dip. Since the cactus leaves or “Nopalito” are so inexpensive to buy I threw in some extra and made a cactus salad from Lisa Fain’s, Homesick Texan cook book. The salad turned out fresh tasting and bursting with flavor, coupled with the awesome fiber content made this a really healthy salad. I will definitely be making these again!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cactus Fries & Salad
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • For the Cactus Fries:
  • 3-4 cactus leaves or "paddles"
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • For the Ancho Chili Dip:
  • 2 tsp of mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp of ancho chili powder
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of hot sauce (to suit your taste)
  • For the Cactus Salad (From The Homesick Texan):
  • 1 pound of cactus leaves cleaned as above
  • 1 plum tomato chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ medium red onion sliced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  1. For the cactus fries, take the thorns out of the cactus leaves and rinse underwater.
  2. Cut into french fries shapes and blanch in a pot of boiling water (about 4 minutes). Drain and cool.
  3. Fill a pan with the oil about 2 inches deep and bring to 350F. Dredge each "french fry" in the flour and then the egg and finally the panko.
  4. Drop gently into the hot oil and fry for about 5 minutes or until nice and golden.
  5. Drain on a paper towel and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. For the ancho chili dip, combine the mayo, ancho chili powder, paprika and hot sauce. Mix well and chill.
  7. For the salad, prepare the leaves as for the fries but cut into small 1 inch squares. Blanch for 4 minutes, rinse and cool.
  8. Prepare all the other ingredients and mix together in a bowl. Add the chopped squares of cactus to the bowl when cool and marinade in the fridge for about an hour. Sprinkle with some more cheese just before serving.

Thanks Jenny for giving me a spot on your awesome blog!

Thanks so much Gerry! I have never tried cactus but this sounds delicious!  If you or somebody you know would like to be a part of Featured Foodie Friday please e-mail me at savourthesenses (at) gmail (dot) com and we can get you scheduled!

1 Year Ago: Hot Spinach & Red Pepper Dip

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Guest Posts, Lunch, Recipes, Sauces, Side Dishes, Vegetables and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Featured Foodie Friday: Foodness Gracious

  1. Maureen says:

    I’ve certainly heard of cactus fries but I doubt we’d get “paddles” here in Australia. These look SOoooo good!

  2. I also went to Sedona last year..what a GORGEOUS area!! But I have to agree..the food lacked. We tried cactus fries and what came back was oily and limp. It was ok..nothing worth ordering again. Yours look crisp and golden…I love that you tried it out again!

  3. Eliot says:

    I hope to get to Sedona one day. (It’s on the bucket list.) But I will be wary of the cactus fries there. I would rathre have yours! Great post, Gerry.

  4. Suzi says:

    I have never tried cactus fries but these look phenomenal and I an really gong for that Ancho Chile Dip. Wonderful

  5. Kimby says:

    If these are made with prickly pear cactus “paddles”, I’ve got one growing in my back yard… never thought to eat it, but I’ll have to reconsider! :) Very nice guest post — I love it when someone thinks, “I bet I can make that at home” and then DOES!