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The cactus might prickle at your touch, but it hides a succulent interior. Cactus leaves, or nopalitos, are available at Latino markets and in some grocery stores. They have a slightly tart taste that matches well with seafood and citrus. On the show, we served this with potatoes and sauteed mushrooms and spinach.
Serves 4



    • 4 prickly pear cactus leaves
    • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 4 whole trout (about 1 pound each), cleaned, boned, and scaled, with head and tail removed
    (if you don't know how, have the fishmonger do this when you buy the fish)
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Juice of 1/4 large orange
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Wearing gloves, snip the spines, if any, off the cactus leaves, and cut off the bases. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape the leaves around the edges and nubs. Cut into small strips across the grain, then cut the small strips in half.

Heat half the butter in a small pan over a medium-high flame and saute the cactus until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wash the trout thoroughly. Place the flour, salt, and pepper in a paper bag. Add the fish and shake.

Heat the remaining butter in a skillet over a medium-high flame. Remove the fish from the bag, shaking off any excess flour. Starting with the flesh side down, cook the trout until brown on both sides, turning once, about 7 to 10 minutes total. Sprinkle with the orange juice and chopped parsley. Serve with the cactus.

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