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Nopalitos in Red Sauce

Steamed spring time vegetables covered with a quick and classic French béchamel sauce make an easy and delicious side dish. The technique for making this sauce is fairly straightforward and there is plenty of room for variation.


  • 2 tablespoons butter (or oil)
  • About 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup liquid (milk, cream or soy milk, or stock)
  • Nopalitos
  • 1/2 TBSP Chile Powder


Bechamel Sauce and its Partners

Melt the butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan over low heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir to combine. Cook,
stirring, for about 3 minutes. Slowly add liquid, stirring quickly with a wire whisk or fork. Add any additional ingredients and stir until sauce is thick and smooth. Add more liquid if the béchamel becomes too thick. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.

Use this béchamel as a base for the following dish:

Nopalitos in Red Sauce

Boil and drain nopales. Prepare basic béchamel sauce, substituting ½ tablespoon flour with ½ tablespoon mild chile powder. Stir nopalitos into sauce and serve over corn tortillas.