3/4 cup diced nopalitos (about 2 medium cactus pads, usually available at supermarkets and specialty food retailers)
pinch baking soda
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup corn oil, melted shortening, or drippings
3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or thawed frozen)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Briefly cook nopalitos in boiling water with a pinch of baking soda until they turn from bright to dull green. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add egg and milk; combine well. Add oil and mix well. Stir in corn kernels and nopalitos. Pour batter into a greased and floured 8-inch-square baking pan and cook until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes (a wooden pick or knife inserted in center should come out clean).

Serves 9

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