my favorite thing about a multicultural city like san francisco is that you can find food and ingredients to make food from all over the world depending on which part of the city you walk to. i had a couple of hours in mission district which reminds me a lot of the chaos in my home town tehran. there are lots of small local markets with mostly mexican and south american products. i thought i should make some thing i have never made before. the cactus leaves looked gorgeous. so i had to pick one of those without even knowing what i could do with them. then i saw some fresh mangoes, fresh limes, and jalapenos. i also saw a couple of spicy salsa cans that looked tempting. so i had to buy them too. also a couple of ripe plantains which we enjoyed cooking them in butter for breakfast today.:-)
the best part was that i had no idea what to do with the cactus and i asked the guy at the cashier in the store and he explained me in a mostly spanish and a couple of words in broken english that i have to clean them very well and then boil them in water for about ten minutes before using them. when i got home i washed the cactus properly by rubbing it with a kitchen scrubber and trimmed it around the edges. then chopped into small pieces and boiled in hot water for ten minutes. then i chopped mangoes, shallots, and jalapenos. added fresh lime juice and olive oil to the mix. let the cactus cool and added it to the mix. tasted and added salt and pepper. the jalapenos i put in were spicy enough that i didn't need to add any pepper. i rubbed that tomato - jalapeno salsa sauce i bought on a bransini fish and baked it for twenty minutes. also baked some tiny colorful potatoes with some salt pepper and oregano and enjoyed eating them all with this cactus - mango salsa i made.
another part of mission district that i can't miss is my favorite cup cake store: mission minis. they make these gorgeous and yummy cupcakes that i always have to buy at least a dozen when i go by. nousheh jahn!