This was a fun segment!
All started with a passion for what I do. I have done several segments with Meaghan and Andy at Studio4 and always seem to notice that Meaghan gets kinda “left out”. You see Meaghan is a vegetarian. And when you have a show with a cooking segment that’s filmed live in the heart of beef country…vegetarians seem to get overlooked. The stigma is that if you live here, you eat steak. Period! And when it comes to Meaghan, this simply isn’t true. Now, we can get into debate and deep theological discussion of why Meaghan (or any vegetarian) chooses to adapt to this lifestyle, but guess what…that doesn’t matter. None of it. What matters is that we are in a position to choose what’s best for ourselves, and for vegetarians that’s choosing not to eat meat.
One day, after the Chardonnay Steamed Mussels segment, I thought “I need to make a vegetarian dish on occasion to appeal to a wider audience”. And also to show-off my own diversity as a Chef 😉
Well, immediately my mind started working. I’m walking through the market and see ingredients that I may have overlooked before (or rarely used). I start thinking of ways to adapt familiar recipes into meatless varieties. How components can come together to create a marvelous dish. *Note: this is WAY out of my comfort zone. I’m known for my use of Southwest ingredients like chile and spice on a variety of meats…so this, #mindblowing to say the least.
Almost immediately after considering preparing a vegetarian dish, my friend Kimberly posted a picture of her beautifully bloomed Hibiscus flower. #BOOM I instantly recalled working with “Jamaica” (Spanish for “Hibiscus”) during my years spent in resorts and restaurants in the Phoenix, AZ area. I’ve gained a great wealth of knowledge from fantastic Chefs that use ingredients like this (which is partially why my own personal style has developed as such). I knew it had to be done!
And…like the Phoenix rose from the ashes…this was born:
- 1 cup Dried Hibiscus Flower rinsed
- 2 ea Dried Ancho Chiles
- 4 cups Water
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 ea Red Onion julienne
- 1/4 cup Jicama julienne
- 2 ea Garlic Clove minced
- 1 ea Lime zest & juice
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chile Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 TT Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
- 4 ea Corn Tortilla
- 1 oz Cohita
1. Bring water to boil. Add dried hibiscus flower. Steep 20 min.
2. Strain rehydrated hibiscus flower. Reserve liquid.
3. Return liquid to boil. Add dried ancho chilies. Steep 20 min.
4. Strain rehydrated ancho chilies. Reserve liquid.
5. Puree ancho chilies, ½ garlic clove, salt/pepper until smooth.
6. Use hibiscus/ancho liquid to thin puree to nappe consistency.
1. Heat olive oil in saute pan.
2. Saute onion, jicama, garlic until onions softens.
3. Add hibiscus flower, and dry seasonings.
4. Finish with lime.
1. Dip tortilla in remaining hibiscus/ancho liquid.
2. Top with hibiscus mixture.
3. Drizzle with ancho chile sauce.
4. Finish with squeeze of lime. Top with cohita.
– Pico de Gallo
– Pickled Onion
Chef Rocky’s Hibiscus Tacos
[SEE THE FULL LIVE DEMO HERE]