When I was getting ready to leave my friends' house yesterday, I noticed all the prickly pears on their cacti.
"Do you have plans for all those?" I queried, pointing at all the tunas on the paddles, as I am always looking to cook with things from my friends' yards!
Plans for what? Mike asked.
"All those prickly pears," I answered.
Oh, no, I just let those fall on the ground. Why? Do you want some?
He grabbed tongs, a long, knife, and a paper bag. I followed him out.
"I heard that I can burn the spines off with a torch. Is that what I should do?"
[insert much laughter] Where did you hear that?
"I read it somewhere," I answered sheepishly. It sounded like a good idea...all except for the fact that I have yet to locate my culinary torch since we moved.
No, you don't need to do that. He cautioned me against touching the prickly pears at all and showed me how to get to the meat without handling the fruit at all.
You slice the ends off. Make a slice down the fruit lengthwise. Then run your knife just under the skin all the way around the fruit. You're left with cylinders of prickly pear that are spine-free and safe to touch!
As we're headed to a bring-you-own meat barbeque on Friday, I decided to make some prickly pear barbeque sauce. I've made pumpkin barbeque sauce and rhubarb barbeque sauce before and figured this would be equally unique. And homemade barbeque sauce is so easy to make...
Prickly Pear Barbeque Sauce
- 1-1/2 C roasted tomato sauce (my recipe here, or you can substitute with ketchup)
- 1-1/2 C prickly pear juice and pulp*
- 3/4 C apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 C Worcestershire sauce
- 2 T raw honey
- 1 T organic dark brown sugar
- 3 T diced onions
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 t curry powder
- freshly ground salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
*Place peeled prickly pears in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the fruit is completely broken down.
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer until it has reached the consistency that you want. Mine took between 15 and 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning - sugar, salt, and pepper - as needed. Place in sterile jars and refrigerate until ready to use. Use within week.