Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hibiscus Flower Enchiladas

Hibiscus Flower Enchiladas
I saw this in the recent BonAppetit magazine and was ready to try it.  I know.  I know.  It sounds really strange, but...whatever it is (different vacation, different workout, different book genre)...I think it's good to go outside the box.  We have an awesome chain of Mexican grocery stores here in Milwaukee, so this was the excuse I needed to go there and get some dried hibiscus flowers.

I know that this sounds unusual.  Some friends have commented that much of my blog is outside their comfort zone for cooking, so this must be way out there...'cause it's even a bit out there for me!  I wanted to make this since it does sound so intriguing.  I think that I would have tried it even before I started blogging, but thinking of recipes for posting just makes me even more adventurous than I was earlier in my life.

The blurb in Bon Appetit talks about this being a Oaxacan recipe.  Oaxaca is on my bucket list for trips, so maybe I'll get to experience this dish in its native place.  It's one of those places that has intrigued me since I read about it in the book The Night of the Radishes.    I like the bit about the flower growing supporting the people too.  Eleanor's violin teacher actually happened upon the night of the radishes a few years ago...very cool!

I noticed the last time we were at Rick Bayless' restaurant  agua de Jamaica was being served  I didn't try it then, but may need to try it now that I bought a couple packs of the flowers. It's just an interesting thing...learning about the hibiscus flower and its use in cooking in other places. I found this link about the hibiscus...don't know that I believe all that is said about it, but I do think it must have some good property to it.  I have to say that I was a bit nervous about it after reading the quote about one man's meat is another's poison; however, I decided to ignore that gem and continue on with my dinner plans.

It's always good for me to head to an ethnic grocery store when I'm feeling in a bit of a rut.  I think that's one of the reasons I like living where I do.  Milwaukee has a bit of small town feel to you can get downtown in a couple minutes and get free on-street parking most of the time...yet there are big city things here too.  We often will go to the Mexican and Asian grocery store on the same trip since they aren't too far apart.  We also have an awesome Italian grocery store and Indian grocery store.  It's fun to browse and to get some ideas.  It's hard to get new ideas if you keep shopping in the same aisles and look at the same cookbooks every week.....

I had a bit of an upper respiratory thing the night I made these, so I don't know if I had a problem from the hibiscus flowers or just from my symptoms...but I felt a bit itchy after eating these.  That does freak me out a bit as I read the quote about one man's meat being another's poison.  I had Eleanor's epi-pen ready to go.  That aside, I did like the taste and texture of these, but I'm not sure what my body is telling me.

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