Salsa a la Magdalena

This salsa is named after my mom and was made for her as a Mother’s Day present. My mom’s favorite chile is Anaheim, which makes a lot of sense considering we always grew that pepper in our garden.

Also how could you not give your mother flowers on Mother’s Day? So I decided to add hibiscus flowers to this salsa (plus her favorite color is purple). I prepared the hibiscus flowers the same way I prepare Jamaica (hibiscus flower tea).

The flowers don’t have a sweet flavor by themselves, but by boiling them in hot water with sugar and cinnamon sticks the flowers’ taste increases. After you are done boiling the hibiscus, you can throw away the cinnamon sticks, but DON’T discard the water. Add two cups of water, half a lime, half an orange, and some ice so you can drink it as Jamaica.

The freshness of the cooked flowers, heat of the anahiems, and the rest of ingredients work beautifully with each other in Salsa a la Magdalena. The first day the salsa is made the heat may seem unbearable, but let it sit in your refrigerator for at least a day. The longer it sits in the fridge with the flowers, the tamer the salsa will get.

This salsa can be used with just about anything, but my mom and I were particularly fond of adding it to our omelets and quesadillas.

6 roasted Anaheims, remove stems and seeds, cut into ½ inch slices
2 tsp cilantro, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1/8 white onion, roasted and sliced
3 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp dried hoja santa, crushed
4 tbsp hibiscus flower
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar

Add sugar, cinnamon sticks, and hibiscus flowers to pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and then remove from stove and let stand covered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, roast the Anaheims, onion, and garlic on a grill or comal until skinned has darkened. After the Anahiems have finished roasting, remove roasted skin, stems, and seeds before cutting into small slices (1/2 inch in length). Cut the roasted white onion into small slices as well as the garlic. Place the chiles, garlic, and onions into a bowl. Once the flowers are ready, drain the water, and remove the cinnamon sticks. Cut the remaining flowers into small bite size pieces before placing into the bowl. Add the cilantro and spices to the salsa and mix thoroughly before serving.

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