Black Olive Enchilada Sauce…

So this weekend I’m gonna take another stab at the black olive enchilada sauce that was served up by Carlos & Charlie’s on Sunset in Hollywood, CA decades ago. It was a dark brown/blackish sauce that was simply delicious.

In the past I have used my pretty standard reconstituted dry chile enchilada sauce with varying degrees of black olives blended in, but just haven’t been able to get that briny olive “kick” to it.

So this time I am considering trying Kalamata olives, but is there another olive I should consider for more flavor?

Capers. :wink:

It sounds interesting.

Also, found this:


Salt cured black olives.

Given that one of the responses to that ‘article’ is addressed to “Scott” this might be ScottinPollock. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Looks like the Poster “WhateverYouWant” is AKA “ScottinPollock” ! So I doubt he will find any unknown info in this link.

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LOL… forgot about that. But given how much my red chile sauce (in fact all of my Mexican sauces/salsa) have changed over the years, it was not “nailed” at all. It was confusing at best, and just all over the place. Now-a-days it is just dried ancho and pasilla peppers, garlic, cumin, water, and salt.

My concern with using Kalamatas again is that they have (at least the ones I buy) a lot of vinegar in them, and I don’t want red wine vinegar in my red chile sauce.

My Safeway has a pretty rudimentary selection of black olives. Will some kind of cook on them bring out more flavor? I’ve also seen some black olive tapenade recipes seasoned with capers and anchovies… and I’m guessing something like this will promote more briny, olive flavor?

And finally… I have seen remarks from Jaime Oliver that with pitted olives “the brine penetrates the olive and it goes dry… the brine overcooks the olive”. Is that really a thing?

What liquid are you using when reconstituting the dried enchilada sauce? I use the water from jarred black olives when reconstituting dry Rogelio brand mole sauce, and like the flavor it gives it.

But I’ve never had BO enchilada sauce and it sounds good - I just toss halved olives atop.

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Ooooh, that’s a thought. But I think I would need way too much for the chiles (a couple of cups).

Don’t know about the “and it goes dry” but pitted Olives stored/packaged in their Brine are always mushier than their Pit in version.

This black olive sauce from Rick Bayless calls for Kalamatas:

Does your local supermarket carry the Krinos brand? Or Pastene? Those are not particularly vinegar-y. Just a standard olive brine. Alternately, you could use rinsed black olives (to get rid of your vinegar flavor) and include some brine from a jar of green olives if you need more punch from the brine?


Nice find. The wine and sugar won’t fit, nor all that garlic and the long cook time… it all just seems a bit heavy for enchiladas.

My Safeway only has the Mezzetta’s, house brand, and another that are all pretty heavy on vinegars.

I am leaning on my basic sauce, with black olives, capers, and anchovies for the next experiment… and maybe rehydrating the chiles in as much olive brine as possible.

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I repeat - try salt-cured black olives. AKA dry or oil cured black olives. Usually available at grocery store olive bars. The wrinkly ones that look like this:


The flavor of most brined olives becomes muted with cooking. Canned black olives especially - they completely disappear. Dry cured olives have a much more concentrated flavor that will stand up to your other ingredients and cooking.


Unfortunately our Safeway removed their olive bar years ago )c: so I am pretty much stuck with canned olives.

You might look for these if you have a local Kroger affiliate. Kroger’s Simple Truth brand has similar in the plastic cups, but the jarred ones have red wine vinegar. Walmart also carries the the Pearls brand in the plastic cups. Haven’t had them, so I don’t know what the lactic acid may do to the flavor.

Olives, Water, Sea Salt, Lactic Acid, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Bummer. The dry cured ones are pretty easy to find online, though - vacuum sealed rather than packed in liquid so they’re easy to ship.

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The Safeway has these, but man they’re pricey (more than a buck/oz.).

Thanks… I’ll have a look.

Thanks… I found some dry cured online… also a buck+/oz. plus shipping.

Forgot I tossed my dried chiles last month due to them being expired, dry, and tasteless so this won’t be happening this weekend )c: I went to order more - Holy Cr•p!!! Average was $2/oz. So with the chiles and olives I am guessing that 12-16oz of enchilada sauce is going to cost me $14+ to make. That’s just crazy! I can order two finished enchiladas with rice, refried beans, chips and salsa from my fav local taqueria for less.

This is not the first time I have run into something like this (especially with ingredients that are not Safeway main staples), but it is starting to happen way too often.

Yeah, that’s pretty typical if you’re buying a smaller quantity (less than a pound). My local grocery store’s olive bar is about $10 per pound these days, though, so not that far off if you consider the convenience factor. Chiles are the same deal. Price per ounce drops dramatically the more you buy. At least with dry chiles you end up reconstituting them with water so the quantity isn’t as small as it seems.

I was at Walmart and City Market (which is my Kroger store) tonight. Pearls Kalamata in the plastic cups were about .88/oz. at Walmart. They were 1.07/oz. at City Market. Surprisingly, Kroger’s organic store brand Simple Truth Kalamata in the plastic cups were only .66/oz.

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