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Cactus Fries with Prickly Pear Dip

Cactus Fries with Prickly Pear Dip

Chef Brian Funk, Shawano, Wisconsin Division

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cactus leaves
  • 4 1/3 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 yellow cornmeal
  • 1/8 oz baking soda
  • 1 ea eggs, large
  • 1 serving prickly pear dip*
  • 16 oz prickly pear purée
  • 1 oz sugar beet, extra fine granulated
  • 2 oz apple vinegar cider
  • 1 ea lime

Preparation

  1. Pour purée into skillet over high heat. Add sugar beet, apple cider and lime juice. Bring to a rolling boil, then drop temperature to a simmer. Let the liquid reduce by half, then remove from heat. Transfer to heat-proof bowl to cool for several minutes, then move to a refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. Use sharp edge of a knife to carefully stroke back and forth across surface of cactus paddles to remove all the spines. Trim paddles of all edges and carefully inspect to ensure all spines have been removed. Slice cactus paddles into strips, about a quarter inch wide. In a bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and a teaspoon of salt. Whisk egg in a small bowl, then stir into flour mix. Slowly stir in chilled water and ice cubes. Dip cactus into batter, then quickly transfer to hot oil, cooking for three minutes to six minutes until golden brown and crispy. Transfer cooked fries to a plate lined with paper towels. Season right away with salt, as desired. Serve alongside chilled prickly pear dip.

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