S. Ashley Crame
Dear S. Ashley: Jamaica flowers (of the hibiscus family) are typically found in vivid red teas, but these tart dried buds are an unusually delicious filling for enchiladas. They're combined with peppers, onion and zucchini, then rolled in warm tortillas and topped with a spoonful of creamy chipotle sauce.
Amaranta Cocina's hibiscus enchiladas with chipotle sauce
Total time: About 1 hour, plus rehydrating time
Note: Adapted from a recipe by executive chef Sarah Rocio Gomez of Amaranta Cocina Mexicana. Dried jamaica (hibiscus) flowers can be found at Latino and health-food markets, as well as Surfas in Culver City and Nicole's Gourmet in South Pasadena.
Chipotle sauce2 tablespoons diced onions
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup tomato puree
1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce), chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomato purée and chipotle pepper and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend and the sauce to reduce slightly; lower the heat if the bottom of the pan gets too hot so the sauce doesn't burn.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream, then set aside. Makes about 1 1/4 cups sauce.
Enchiladas and assembly2 1/2 cups (4 ounces) dried jamaica flowers
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter