Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Trip Around the World

Recently Mom, dear sister and I went on a little adventure. We were looking for Hibiscus flowers to make tea. It took us to a little shopping center in Broadmoor where we enjoyed a Vietnamese lunch and shopping in a Super Mercado. They were right next door to one another. It was like a quick trip around the world.

Danh's Garden is a nice Vietnamese restaurant that offers a large selection of Vietnamese and Thai dishes. They have everything; spring rolls, noodle soup, pho, fried rice, stir-fries and bubble tea. We ordered fresh spring rolls, Tom Yum Soup with Vegetables, Basil Fried Rice with Chicken, and Basil Shrimp. Oh and we split a Milk Bubble Tea three ways. All very tasty.

When we finished lunch we went next door to Carniceria Super Mercado La Ranchera. They have a great selection Mexican herbs and spices, fresh meats and produce that you can't find in your typical grocery store. They even had a freezer with paletas (popsicles). We found the Hibiscus Flowers and decided to buy two bags. We also found some fresh Chorizo for my Birthday Taco Dinner. More about that in my next post. Dear sister had to have Bistec (thin beef steaks) to marinade for tacos. Mom and I had to buy the Nopals (Cactus Paddles) again for tacos. We all agreed we would not have a problem eating Mexican food two days in a row.

The Bistec was perhaps the most challenging. I just struggle with cooking thin cuts of beef on the gas grill. I think I need to break down and get a charcoal grill. They were very tasty because I used the marinade from my Mexicana Beef Tacos. But they never got those smoky grill marks you look for from grilling. We topped them with some Spicy Avocado Cream, Pickled Red Onions, Cilantro and Cotija Cheese. We made the Spicy Avocado Cream from a jar of jalapeno salsa dear sister brought back from Canton and an avocado. It was a big surprise how spicy and flavorful just those two ingredient turned out. It was so good. Creamy and spicy. I put it on everything until there was not a drop left. 

Then there was the nopals. I loved the cactus! We grilled it with some corn and made tacos. We adapted this Grilled Cactus and Corn Salad recipe into our own taco recipe. Again we loaded these tacos with Spicy Avocado Cream, Pickled Red Onions, Cilantro and Cotija Cheese. This was my favorite of the tacos. I loved everything about them. They had great texture and flavor. Cleaning the cactus was work but the tacos made it worth it. The next day Mom and I made a quesadilla with all the leftover steak, cactus and corn. That was Mom's favorite. I think she would do everything again just for another quesadilla. All in all this was a successful dinner and a fun trip. I look forward to going back to both of these little Broadmoor spots. If for nothing else to get more tacos ingredients. Now for the recipes.

Grilled Cactus and Corn Tacos
Serves 4


4 nopales, or cactus paddles
2 small to medium cob of sweet corn
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lime, cut in half for juice
8 corn tortillas
Spicy Avocado Cream (recipe below)
Pickled Red Onions (recipe below)
Cilantro, coarsely chopped
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Lime, cut into wedges


Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

Clean and prepare the nopales. Trim or cut the edge off each paddle; trim the stem end too. Use a small knife to trim each of the needle locations flush with the rest of the paddle. Brush the cactus and corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the nopales and corn until soft and slightly charred. The nopales should take about 5 minutes on each side; cook the corn for roughly the same time rotating several times. Let cool, then cut nopales into thin strips about 1/4 inch and cut corn kernels off the cob.

In a large bowl, combine nopales, corn, juice of half a lime, cilantro, and a light drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Warm tortillas on the grill flipping often until soft and warm about 30 seconds or in the microwave again for about 30 seconds.

To serve place a spoon of cactus and corn mixture in each tortilla. Garnish with pickled red onion, spicy avocado cream, cilantro and cotija cheese. Just before eating, squeeze a little fresh lime juice over each.

Note: The cactus and corn mixture could be served as a salad or side dish as well.

I grilled extra corn. Dear sister loves corn.

Spicy Avocado Cream
Make about 2 cups


1 cup jalapeno green salsa (We used Green Fudge brand from Canton)
1 large avocado, seeded and peeled


Place ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.

Pickled Red Onions
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes about 1/2 to 1 cup


1/2 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced


Place first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a pint or quart size mason jar. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion into jar; pat down to make sure onions are covered with vinegar mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Can be made 2 weeks ahead.

Linking to:

The Lazy Gastronome - Taco Tuesday Blog Hop


  1. Oh man - I need to try this! Thanks for sharing on the Taco Tuesday blog hop!

    1. Thanks so much! The cactus and corn are great but the toppings are a must. You could use them on so many other tacos!

  2. These look really interesting! I don't eat much meat, and it's hard to find meatless taco recipes. I may have to try this! Now, where to find cactus in Memphis.... Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks Amy! I hope you find cactus. I see it in more and more grocery stores so hopefully it won't be too hard to find. Here is another veggie taco recipe for you. I don't want you too be taco hungry. have a great day!


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