Have tried each and every recipe on here over the last year or so and have experimented heavily, probably some 100 plus hours, but just hovered in the background observing.
Were not there yet folks. If this recipe is to actually be broken I think maybe a more logical approach might be necessary. Many of the points in this blog make sense, many do not so lets look at these points first. As well as a lot more experimentation. To many variables.
I think also being rather inexpensive, a guaranteed analysis might not be a bad idea.
-King Taco stated out in small food trucks. (This does mean they would have budget constraints
and would have needed to be able to make batches quickly and like all small businesses would choose ingredients that were both cost effective and readily available. This would also mean that their recipe would not have changed and still would be made the same way today regardless of the size of their central kitchen, in other words don't fix what isn't broken).
- If something costs a dollar to produce, even with all the buying power of a medium restaurant chain they would not sell it for 50 cents. In other words each of the ingredients being used must be looked at and if to costly most likely able to be excluded.
- The kind of chili used. Most likely chile de arbol as it is cheap and readily available. Possibly chile japones or maybe a blend of the two. As well New Mexico chili's and chile gaujillo.
- Think it safe to say chilis should be cooked on skillet, how long that is a good question. To long they burn, to little, the desired effect not achieved. I think the best is when just stating to smoke and are getting crunchy and just bit of black. Enough smoke so your eyes burn a little.
-To de seed or not to de seed. Think about it, to have to remove the seeds from each de arbol would take way to long, so I feel leaving them in will quicken the process saving time and money as well keeping the heat of the chili itself in the sauce. (The heat comes from the seed, obviously everyone knows this).
-However on some of the larger chili's, gaujillo and new Mexico seeds will easily come out when broken after cooked rather easily. As well there seeds do not grind up as well as the de arbols and japones.
-Chili powder - adds a familiar color but not much for the taste
-Powdered de arbol powder - Use de arbol pods, the powder adds an unpleasant medicinal effect
-The question of Knorr. If used most likely not the cube version but the powdered version in tubs, again a cost decision. (Very inexpensive by the tub).
-Cider Vinegar or not. May work for Rick Bayless or Dianne Kennedy but I think a little to pungent for King Taco's Red Sauce.
-The Indian spices question? Many are cross platform such as corriander seeds, cayenne pepper, cilantro cumin seed etc. Have tried garam masala, turmeric, ground cardimun, various curry powders and so far nothing. What I have learned is to go very lite on these as a little goes a very very long way.
-Onions anyone? Have tried, white onion, Spanish onion, red onion and scalions as well onion powder. I don't think so. All tend to leave to strong an after effect after 24 hours or more of marination.
-Garlic, yes but cooked, raw or powder. I say no to powder and yes to either fresh or cooked, of coarse in the skin and then peeled.
-Salt: kosher, sea salt or regular table style. Most likely regular table salt but have gotten much better results from the kosher salt.
-There is definitely all spice. Now which style of all spice, Mexican, Jamaican or Honduran. All have their own personality. Even powdered all spice have tried. I think so far the Mexican all spice berries have yielded the closest result.
-Clove, what for, the All spice seems to cover that base just fine.
-Cumin or cumin seed? I choose powdered cumin, seems to work just fine.
-Coriander seeds, I think for their green sauce, am not really sure for the red sauce.
-Canned chipotle. Have tried every brand and problem is the sauce adds to much sweetness. Understandably there is a hint of sweetness in the King Taco sauce but I do not think from the canned chipotles. The smokiness from the canned chipotles is what seems to be desired. So I have come up with an alternative.
******use actual smoked and dried chipotle chilis but heat on a skillet first to further enhance the smokiness. This is an inexpensive method and would seem to go along with the economical side of the ingredient list.
-liquid smoke? Tried, very potent but feel the smoke chipotle is better fit.
- black pepper? Maybe, but Mexican black pepper.
-Pumpkin seeds, the larger Mexican pumpkin seeds definetly sooked on skillet till popping. This not so much for taste but to add thickness to sauce. Again a few go a very far way.
-The bitter Orange - Maybe, but minimal.
-Bottled Mole - Have tried several, maybe, but doesn;t seem to strike a familiar note.
--Mojo Criolles? It has a familiar garlic, black pepper citrus taste. Maybe on the expensive side even in gallon or 5 gallon containers but will not rule out.
-Habenero extract, or Habenero.I do not think necessary. I think there is more than enough heat from the de arbols.
-The question of Tapatio? It does have a familiar color, but duplicates many of the ingredients mentioned above. It is cheaper in large quantities gallon containers, but seems to have to be used sparingly as brings the sour, bitter notes. When cooked by itself, simmered, takes on a mollasis taste and consistancy. So maybe, but sparingly. I am naturally cautious of people claiming they no for sure that an ingredient bis used in a sauce. How? Just because a restaurant orders batches of Tapatio does not mean it is used in therir Hot sauce. Maybe they refill the smaller bottles, as larger restaurants fill there soya sauce ciontainers or ketchup or mustard. Maybe they use it in a marinade or other sauce.
-oil -if frying sice maybe, but I do not think so.
-Water - Enough said
So all this said and done I think safely the following should be experimented with.
- Chili de arbols (Pan, skillet or comales)
- Knorr Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Cumin Powder
- Mexican All Spice berries
- Some form of smkoe - smoked chipotle chili's my first choice
- Rosated Garlic
- Either bitter Orange or Mojo Criole or similar version.
- Some Mexican Pumpkin seeds, toasted, to add consistancy and thickness.
- Blend heavily for several minutes, emulsify.
- Marinade and refrigerate for atleast 24 hours (In Marinade bags)
- Cook for a few minutes at low heat
Cooking time impacts the color.
There is something else missing. This is where any and every other possible ingredient should be tried. Its that final slight aftertaste. It is most likely something very simple and familiar and I'm sure some one here will stumble on it sooner than later. Maybe even from a combination of the previously mentioned ingredients.