Pima-Papago Cactus and Eggs
2 to 3 5- to 7-inch fresh nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) with thorns removed or 1 7 1/4-ounce can natural cactus in salt water, drained
4 strips bacon, diced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 to 1 tsp. ground New Mexican red chili or chili powder
4 to 6 eggs
Ground pepper (optional)
Rinse fresh nopales well under cold running water and examine carefully to make sure all tiny thorns have been removed. Trim around the edges with scissors to remove the base of thorns. Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove a thin layer of peel. Rinse again, cut into thin strips, and simmer in lightly salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender. Rinse and drain. If using canned nopales, rinse and drain. Cook bacon until crisp in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add onion and chili to the drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium heat until onion is translucent. Stir in reserved cactus strips and bacon. Sauté briefly. Break desired number of eggs on top of cactus mixture. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until whites are set and yolks are cooked to taste. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.