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Old 12-16-2020, 12:33 PM   #1
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Carlos & Charlie's Enchilada Sauce

Back when I lived in So.Cal. one of our favorite night spots was a Mexican restaurant & bar in Hollywood named Carlos & Charlie's. They had great food (although quite non-traditional) and Margaritas. One of my favorites were their enchiladas. These had a darker sauce then the traditional brick red traditional enchilada sauce, that was seriously laced with olive (with sliced black olives in adornment).

I have tried recreating this over the years with varying degrees of success... using olive oil in place of more unflavored oil, and puréed olives in addition to the more traditional enchilada sauce ingredients, but I have never hit this nail squarely on the head. Not sure if this is another traditional thing I was just never aware of, or they just hit it out of the park on their own.

So I thought I'd throw it out here to see if any of you prepare something akin to the above. I Googl'd it and found several copycat recipes for their tasty tuna dip, alas nothing about their enchiladas (sauce).

I have enclosed a color swatch which is my pretty firm recollection of the sauce's color.

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Old 12-16-2020, 12:48 PM   #2
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I thought of this possibility because of the colour. Could there have been chocolate or cocoa in the sauce?
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Old 12-16-2020, 01:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Could there have been chocolate or cocoa in the sauce?
Decidedly not. I am not a fan of mole sauces and would have noticed that (unless used in such a small amount it put off no hint of it). It was salty, and savory... less acidic than most enchilada sauces, and definitely tasted of black olive.
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Old 12-16-2020, 03:16 PM   #4
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Maybe the peppers and tomatoes were charred, and the peppers were green.
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Old 12-16-2020, 03:51 PM   #5
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Maybe the peppers were green.
That's a possibility, or even the tomatoes were actually tomatillos. The sauce had a darker color, which could certainly be due to more green (than red) ingredients, as well as the addition of the olive factor of the sauce. Unfortunately, that may involve a whole lot more experimentation.
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Old 12-16-2020, 04:01 PM   #6
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Scott, and if you are experimenting to find it, what about dried ancho chilies, those are pretty dark colored and could soak up a lot of juices, thickening it.
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Old 12-16-2020, 04:21 PM   #7
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For a chile with a truly olive color, try pasillas. Not sure if that is the flavor, but they are definitely the right color. Mixed with some others, like ancho or guajillos, these would result in that very dark color.
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Old 12-16-2020, 06:05 PM   #8
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For all the chilli pepper varieties you could hope for, here's a link:

https://penderys.com/chile-peppers/c...and-diced.html

There are several very dark chilis such as this- https://penderys.com/chile-peppers/c...and-diced.html

They also have ground peppers, and pepper blends. Hope this gives you the resources to nail you enchilada sauce.

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Old 12-16-2020, 11:54 PM   #9
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I guess it depends which part of Mexico or even Central America the chef comes from, but I've always like a dark enchilada sauce far more than the traditional red sauce or the green sauce that you encounter as is done in New Mexico and Arizona.
The dark sauce was a lot like a chili gravy, and it's base is masa flour and your choice of oil cooked as you would any roux. The ground chilies would be added just as the roux was getting the color of your choosing. Some people add the chilies right from the start but I find that interferes some with determining just when the roux's flour is cooked correctly.
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