Huaraches with Charred Cactus

2 lobes of cactus, spikes removed and cleaned

Pre-made masa from the Mexican grocery store (or follow directions on the back of a masa flour bag.

Refried beans

salt to taste

1 tomato, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

sour cream

queso fresco

cilantro

salsa

Slice the cactus into 1/4″ cubes. Using a comal or dry skillet, char the cactus over high heat stirring occasionally until charred. You want some black bits and this technique gets rid of the excess “saliva” that naturally seeps out of the cactus. Set aside.

For the huaraches:

If you are using a pre-made masa (easiest route) and it is very firm, let sit out on the counter top and bring to room temperature. Break off two handfuls and place in a mixing bowl. Add water a teaspoon at a time and a sprinkle of salt. Knead with your hands until the dough just comes together and water is incorporated. The mixture should be pliable but not sticky. Add more water a few drops at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Roll out masa between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is 1/8″ thick. Try to shape it into an oval, but a rectangle shape is just fine. Place on the comal or dry skillet over high heat and cook through until masa takes on a dull look and there are no raw spots of dough left. Flip over and cook the other side.

Place each masa slipper on a plate and spread a thin layer of beans on top leaving a 1/4″ border on the sides. Layer on charred nopales, tomatoes, and avocados. Top with queso fresco and a drizzle of sour cream. Sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy with salsa.