Category: Sauces

Rick’s Salsa Verde – the Real Deal

Rick’s Salsa Verde – the Real Deal

Taquitos are high on the list of Huggins Family most loved foods. And, our favorites come from the little stand on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, Cielito Lindo, where taquitos were invented in the mid 1930s. Every trip home to Southern California includes a trek downtown for Combination #1: 3 Taquitos, Beans and Cheese. The taquitos are smothered in “guacamole”. Cielito Lindo’s version of guacamole is a delicious green salsa that you can’t help but dream about. This recipe is the closest I’ve come to replicating its flavor.


INGREDIENTS
1 can (28 oz) tomatillos
1 bottle (40 oz) roasted green chiles, mild
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1-2 avocados (optional)
½ onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro
2 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and blend with emersion blender.  Serve with tacos, taquitos, or chips; or to make chile verde.


CIELITO LINDO’S HOME VERSION
After working for some time to recreate Cielito Lindo’s, I learned from Pam that Cielito Lindo published a home version of their guacamole.  The recipe is below, with some minor alterations.


INGREDIENTS
8 fresh chiles gueritos (yellow chiles), seeded and deveined
5 cloves garlic, chopped
15 medium tomatillos, peeled and halved
2 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped
6 cups water
2 medium avocados
4 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS
In a large pan, combine chiles, garlic, tomatillos, cilantro, and water; bring to boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from water and place in blender; reserve water.  Add avocado and salt to blender.  Blend, adding water in small installments and blend until smooth.  Place in refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to meld.  Adjust salt, if necessary.

Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce

I learned to love peanut sauce (pindasaus) while living in The Netherlands.  An Indonesian meal just isn’t right without it!  This delicious sauce is a favorite of every member of our family.  We use it most often to smother skewers of chicken (Satay Ajam) or pork (Satay Babi), over vegetables (Gado Gado), or with mayonnaise and diced onions to top frites (Patatje Oorlog).  There are two kinds of people in the world; those who love peanut sauce, and those who haven’t eaten it often enough to crave it… yet!   


INGREDIENTS
1⁄2 cup peanut butter
1⁄2 tsp garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
3 tbsp brown sugar
1⁄8 tsp hot curry powder
1⁄4 tsp sambal oelek (or to taste)


DIRECTIONS
In saucepan, melt peanut butter; add garlic. Heat until texture is creamy. Add lemon juice and ketjap manis. Sauce will become quite thick. Stir in coconut milk, brown sugar, curry powder and sambal.

For a slight variation, I will often add a couple of teaspoons of fresh ginger, or even a little lemon grass.

Grandma’s Taco Sauce

Grandma’s Taco Sauce

INGREDIENTS
1 can peeled tomatoes
2 or 3 hot yellow peppers
2 tbsp juice from yellow peppers
1 can Ortega green diced chilies
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 or 4 tbsp white vinegar


DIRECTIONS
Drain juice from tomatoes and reserve. Place tomatoes in blender and blend 2 seconds; add to tomato juice. Place hot peppers and juice from peppers in blender with vinegar and blend 2 seconds; add to tomatoes. Add chilies, salt, pepper, vegetable oil and vinegar, one at a time. Best when used at room temperature

Hamburger Sauce

Hamburger Sauce


1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp chili sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
1 medium onion, sautéed
2 tsp agave sweetener
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ketjap manis (or 1 tsp soy sauce and a little extra agave sweetener)

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for several hours before using.

(updated 7/2019)

Pesto

Pesto

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2-3 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process into a paste.

Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup

1/2 gal apple cider

In a porcelain-lined dutch oven, heat apple cider over high heat until it comes to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally, until cider is reduced to about one cup and reaches a syrupy consistency.  Refrigerate.

Ginger Salmon Glaze

Ginger Salmon Glaze

1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp sambal oelek
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp chicken Better Than Bullion
2 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cool to room temperature before using to coat and baste salmon.

Spicy Tomato Spread

Spicy Tomato Spread

TomatoSpread1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and sliced (remove seeds, if desired)
2 lbs tomatoes, skins removed, cored & chopped into chunks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 star anise pods

Combine garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and jalapeños in a food processor; process for +/-15 seconds.  Pour into non-stick sauté pan and add remaining ingredients; bring contents to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for +/-30 minutes.  The sauce is finished when a rubber spatula leaves trail in the sauce (or to desired consistency).  Pour into a jam jar; cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.

Bleu Cheese Steak Sauce

Bleu Cheese Steak Sauce

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup butter
1 to 2 lbs mushrooms, sliced
1 to 2 yellow onions, sliced
16 oz Alfredo sauce (see recipe or use Bertoli)
6 oz bleu cheese

DIRECTIONS
In a large sauté pan, melt butter; sauté mushrooms and onions.  Add Alfredo and bleu cheese; heat until bleu cheese is fully integrated. Serve over barbecued ribeye steaks.

Sausage Gravy

Sausage Gravy

Sausage gravy, a Southern staple, has been a Huggins family favorite for generations.  No true Southern breakfast is complete without it.  The sage sausage is in homage to my grandma Lena — a true Southern lady.  I learned to make this, arguably the best of all breakfasts, watching my mom prepare it time and time again in our family kitchen in Southern California.   I may just be superstitious, but I swear the gravy tastes best when it’s made in my favorite cast iron pan!


INGREDIENTS
1 lb sage sausage
1 cube butter
⅓ cup flour (mounded)
½ gallon milk
salt & pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS
Cook sausage; remove meat from pan and add butter to sausage drippings. Melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for +/- 3 minutes stirring continually. Add just less than ½ gallon of milk. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring until thickened. Adjust thickness with remaining milk if necessary.  Add salt and pepper to taste; stir some of the prepared sausage into gravy (to taste). Serve over buttermilk biscuits and eggs.

Tamarind Glaze

Tamarind Glaze

1 cup tamarind paste
1⁄4 cup sliced shallots
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
1⁄2 cup lemon grass, sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 Thai bird chillies or sambal oelek to taste
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tbsp whole cumin seed, toasted
2 qts chicken stock
salt & pepper to taste

In a medium, non-reactive sauce pan, combine all ingredients. Simmer lightly for about one hour until the glaze is thick and syrupy; strain and season with salt if necessary.

Sweet & Sour Sauce (Chieko)

Sweet & Sour Sauce (Chieko)

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
a few drops lemon juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water

Combine sugar, water, ketchup, vinegar and lemon juice; bring to boil. Dissolve corn starch in water and add to mixture to thicken. Cook until clear. Pour over thinly sliced uncooked bell peppers, onions and pineapple chunks. Serve over rice.

Salmon Grilling Sauce

Salmon Grilling Sauce

2 cup tartar sauce (Kraft lemon & herb preferred)
1⁄3 cup lime juice
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon pepper
salt & pepper

Combine ingredients and use to baste salmon while on barbecue. Add salt and pepper.

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

1⁄4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup roasted red peppers
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 anchovy filets
1⁄2 cup roasted almonds
salt & pepper

Pour olive oil into sauté pan on low heat; add garlic. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, cook for about 30 seconds; remove to a small bowl to cool. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together then purée for about an additional minute. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Adjust for salt prior to serving. Great over meat, fish and vegetables.

Peanut Sauce 2

Peanut Sauce 2

This is a very basic Indonesian-style peanut sauce that I learned to make while living in The Netherlands.  It is the perfect accompaniment to barbecued chicken (Satay Ajam) or over vegetables (Gado Gado).

1⁄2 cup peanut butter
1⁄2 tsp garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
11⁄2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ketjap manis
water
sambal oelek

In saucepan, melt peanut butter; add garlic and brown sugar. Heat until texture is creamy. Add lemon juice and ketjap manis; stir in sambal oelek to taste.  Sauce will become thick. Add water until sauce is of the desired consistency.

Peanut Sauce 3

Peanut Sauce 3

1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 tsp sambal oelek
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 cup thick coconut milk
1⁄2 tsp garlic, crushed
1⁄2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1⁄2 tsp lemon grass, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, peanut butter, sambal and sugar in a small saucepan; add the coconut milk. Heat, stirring, until almost boiling.

Sauté garlic, ginger and lemon grass in the vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. Pour into the sauce and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until sauce is very thick, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Great over satay or gado gado.