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Sunday, April 29, 2012
Prickly Pear Noodles con Guisado de Longaniza y Nativa Vegetales
Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Flavored Noodles with Stewed Longaniza Sausage and Native Mexican Vegetables!
This pasta creation is a comfortable Sunday afternoon meal! The flavors are rich, very mildy spicy and very healthy. The native Mexican vegetables include toasted calabaza seed, jalapeno, Chilhuacle negro chile, tomato, blue speckled maize, bell pepper, onion and pinto beans. Those are some healthy stewed vegetables! Cilantro and epazote also flavor the stew.
Longaniza sausage is similar to chorizo, but it is much milder in flavor. Many food writers incorrectly describe longaniza as being spicier than chorizo. Sausage making is a regional culinary art. In some regions both longaniza and chorizo are mildly spicy and in other regions these sausages may be spicier. Overall, longaniza is the milder of the two sausages.
Prickly pear cactus fruit is called tuna in Mexico. Prickly pear cactus fruit (tuna) is a strong antioxidant, it lowers cholesterol and it helps to control type two diabetes. Which is healthier, tuna as in cactus fruit or tuna fish? Obviously, Mexican tuna cactus fruit is the winner!
Dried powdered prickly pear cactus fruit was used to flavor the pasta dough for the noodles. I purchased this artisan crafted prickly pear cactus flavored fresh pasta at the Greenland Supermarket in Korea Town, Las Vegas last week. Korean? Yes! Koreans are into healthy food and the health benefits of prickly pear cactus fruit are amazing!
Dried Chilhuacle negro chile is a hard to find chile pepper. Chilhuacle negro chiles are native to Oaxaca Mexico. When dried, they look like a dark black stubby small bell pepper shape with a smooth skin. The flavor of Chilhuacle negro chile is a one of a kind combination of deep intense fruit flavors, dried plum, licorice and tobacco. Chilhuacle negro chile are used to make the famous Oaxacan black mole pastes. This pepper has a mild spicy chile pepper heat.
The maize in this recipe is a native heirloom breed. I chose blue speckled yellow maize for this recipe. Blue speckled maize is much healthier than hybrid sweet corn.
Put this all together and this entree is a very healthy, nutritious and good tasting stew that is nice when served on pasta. Mexican style pastas are a chic item these days!
Prickly Pear Noodles con Guisado de Longaniza y Nativa Vegetales:
The prickly pear fruit flavored fresh pasta can be found at Korean markets and artisan pasta shops. If you want to make this pasta from scratch, then add dried ground prickly pear cactus fruit to a pasta dough recipe.
This stew does not take all day to cook! The stew only simmers till the vegetables become tender and till a thin broth sauce is formed.
Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 5 cups of water.
Add a 5 to 6 ounce piece of cased raw longaniza sausage.
Gently boil the sausage, till it is fully cooked.
Remove the sausage from the pot and let it cool.
Cut the longaniza sausage into small bite size slices and set them aside.
Place a pot of boiling water on a back burner set to high heat, so the fresh pasta can be cooked later in the recipe.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped onion.
Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped green bell pepper.
Add 1/2 of a small chopped seeded jalapeno pepper.
Add the reserved cooked longaniza sausage slices.
Saute till the vegetables start to become tender.
Add 1 minced garlic clove.
Add 1 Roma tomato that is cut into medium thin wedges.
Add 1 small handful of fresh blue speckled maize kernels, that were cut off of a cob.
Add 2 tablespoons of toasted pepitas. (toasted hulled calabaza seeds)
Add 1 crushed seeded dried Chilhuacle negro chile. (Substitute a morita chile or pasilla chile if no Chilhuacle negro chile are available.)
Add 1 handful of rinsed cooked pinto beans or rinsed canned pinto beans.
Add 3 tablespoons of tomato puree.
Add 2 cups of light chicken broth.
Add 2 pinches of paprika.
Add 2 pinches of cumin.
Add 2 pinches of coriander.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of dried crumbled epazote.
Add 10 chopped cilantro leaves.
Simmer and stew the ingredients, till the vegetables become tender and the sauce reduces to a thin sauce consistency.
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Place 1 portion of prickly pear cactus fruit flavored fresh pasta in the pot of boiling water. (The pasta should have a linguini or capellini shape.)
Boil the fresh pasta, till it floats in the water and till it becomes fully cooked.
Add the pasta to the longaniza sausage and native Mexican vegetable stew in the pan.
Toss the ingredients together.
Place the pasta and sauce on a plate.
Use a carving fork to spin the noodles form a tall peak of pasta on the center of the plate.
Try to expose a little bit of each of the ingredients on the surface of the pasta.
Garnish the center peak of pasta with a split lime slice.
Garnish the lime slice with cilantro leaves.
This is an interesting Mexican pasta entree to look at, because many of the ingredients are not commonplace. The aroma and flavor of this entree spells savory healthy comfort in any language! Yum! ... Shawna