Victoria’s Salsa Verde (TacoDeli’s Dona Sauce)


I’d found this wonderful creamy sauce in Austin’s TacoDeli, at the East end of Barton Skyway. Very powerful day one, it ages quickly and takes on brain-melting properties after just a few days. Yummmm… They (obviously) wouldn’t give out the recipe, but I serendipitously found it when visiting friends in El Paso who had a live-in cook. The recipe that follows is hers, with comments in brackets “[]” on my part.

In the name of full disclosure, I need to say I haven’t taken my batch down to the good folks out there: they might not let me leave without telling them how I cracked their code!

1/2/10 update: Modified recipe to address comments using a bold font. There are no additional ingredients, needed to make it, however the optional avocado would make for a creamy, instead of liquid, sauce.


  • 10 Serrano peppers [Try 7 Serrano and 6 Jalapeno]
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced [2 bulbs instead, and crush the garlic to release more flavor (can you see where sweating might come in???)]
  • 1T oil (canola works, but I’d use olive oil — watch the temperature so it doesn’t get past the smoke point!)
  • 1/2C water
  • Optional: 1/4 Ettinger or  1/2 Haas or Fuerte avocado [This provides creaminess. Other commenters have suggested using sour cream.]
  • 1t salt [You might want to add more later]


  1. Remove the stems from the chilis and perforate them all over with the tip of a knife
  2. Place chilis and garlic in a sauce pan with the oil
  3. Saute over a low flame (remember: olive oil has a low smoke point!) until the Serrano skins begin to peel off the chilis (about 6 minutes)
  4. Put the chilis (with their skins) and the garlic (and the optional avocado) in a blender with water and salt and blend thoroughly.
  5. Pour salsa back into the sauce pan with the oil and cook for 3 minutes or so, to blend the flavors


About 3/4C sauce. Remember, the older the sauce, the more you sweat!


Prep time: 10 minutes Elapsed time: 20 minutes