I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ode to Olvera Street

Every time I go to Los Angeles, one of my must stops is Olvera street.  It's just lovely, and it's so full of Mexican culture.  There are shops and architecture and, of course, amazing food.  The freshly made churros are to die for, but my first stop is always always the taquito stand right in the front, Cielito Lindo.  Parking is always tough to find, but I love this place so much, I've actually jumped out of the car, had my husband drive around the block until I get my taquitos, and jump back in...  I will say, though, the taquitos themselves aren't exactly what keeps me going.  It's the amazingly delicious liquid gold they serve with them that makes my mouth water.  This avocado sauce was a craving during my pregnancy with my daughter, but being in Oklahoma, I couldn't exactly send my husband out at midnight to get it.  What's a girl to do, then, but make it herself?  (I actually found the basic recipe of this online, but I can't find the link now for the life of me.  I've made a few changes...)  Now I'll say, to those who do have access to the real thing, get off the computer, get in your car, and drive to downtown Los Angeles. If not, here's my take.

What you'll need:
3 cans Herdez salsa verde (It really needs to be this brand...)
a bunch of cilantro
1 and a half avocados
3 to 4 serrano peppers
a can of chicken broth

Start by pouring the salsa verde into a blender.  The blender is going to do most of our chopping for us.  Next, Coursely chop the cilantro leaves off the stems.  A few stems are fine because everything is getting chopped anyway, but you don't want a ton.  Add those leaves to the blender, too.

Next, cut your avocados in half, remove the seeds, and spoon them out.  Make sure to pick the three biggest halves!!

Cut the tops off of the serrano peppers, (It's important to note here that these are super hot.  Don't touch them then touch your eyes.  It HURTS!) cut them lengthwise into quarters, and remove the seeds and the veins.  That's the hottest part, and few people are going to be able to eat them.  Add seeded peppers to the blender and blend blend blend!  Make sure everything is chopped up as finely as possible.

Now comes the part where you're going to use your muscle.  This sauce is very smooth, so we are going to have to strain out all the little tomatillo seeds from the salsa verde and any bits of cilantro leaves.  Use a fine mesh strainer over a bowl pushing the juice through with a rubber scraper.  Do this in small batches, and you're going to end up with a lovely paste.

Once everything has been strained, you're going to end up with a smooth sauce that is the consistence of a tomato sauce.  We want it thinner so it pours super easy.  Move your sauce to a medium sauce pan, and add the can of chicken broth.  Stir it together very well, and on medium heat, heat it through for about 5 minutes.  This will slightly cook it to create the taste and consistency we are looking for!

I pour mine into jars to keep in the fridge for whenever I'm ready for it, but you can pour it directly onto your food from here.  I love it best on taquitos, but my husband eats it on any Mexican food.  It's a bit of a process, but this stuff is amazing and lasts quite a while.  I so hope you give it a try and fall in love with it, too!

Oh, and Merry Christmas!!


  1. WOW!!!! This recipe is AMAZING, and that is as close to the Olvera Street sauce as I've ever tasted.

    I could not agree more with your feelings about Celito Lindo's taquitos, and the oh-so-perfect-wonderful-amazing sauce. When my family moved out of LA, anytime we were back within two hours of it, we'd drive all the way downtown just to get taquitos. My dad would pick up a gallon jug of the sauce to take home to us, and we'd make it last as long as possible.

    So, this recipe. THANK YOU SO MUCH for experimenting, figuring it out, and posting it for others to find! I made it yesterday for the second time, and my family flipped out. They could not believe the flavor.

    Thank you thank you again.

  2. This is so close to Olvera Street's sauce. We love going there every time we go to LA. Thanks for sharing!