ninfa’s green sauce

Ninfa's Green Sauce Hero

Every Houstonian knows Mama Ninfa is an institution, and this green sauce know doubt helped her emerge as a Tex-Mex queen! I found this Houston Chronicle newspaper clipping for Mama Ninfa’s famous green sauce and didn’t skip a beat before I tried to recreate this famous salsa. The secret that’s not clear from the recipe below, is that this recipe is really good for three unique salsas/dips! With proper pauses, you can stretch this recipe from one creamy green dip into creamy green dip, avocado tomatillo salsa, and tomatillo salsa. All three are delicious in their own right, so use this recipe for one or all three!

Ninfa's Green Sauce Ingredients

Green Sauce Newspaper Clipping

You’ll need:

3 medium green tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 tomatillos, chopped
1 -2 jalapeños, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tbl olive oil
3 ripe avacados
¼ c cilanto
1 tsp salt
1 ½ c sour cream (less if you go for more than one of the salsa varietals)



Combine your tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic & oil in a small pan. Bring to a boil & then simmer for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.



For salsa 1: let all these ingredients cool to room temperature & then mix in a food processor adding your salt, cilantro, and lime. Remove as much of the tomatillo salsa as you’d like to enjoy.

For salsa 2: add your avocados to the tomatillo mix & combine in the food processor. This is another reasonable point to pause! Scoop aside some avocado tomatillo salsa & enjoy.

For salsa 3: the most decadent, Ninfa’s-esque, creamy dip, add your sour cream & combine. Depending upon how much salsa you’ve removed already, modify the amount of sour cream you add to reflect the proportions remaining in the bowl of your food processor. Add sour cream to taste & to your desired level of creaminess.

Enjoy any of these three salsas with tortilla chips, as enchilada sauce, or taco toppers!



chicken mole tacos

The long story of this recipe is that it was really an attempt to recreate the most amazing chicken tacos from a little place in Houston called 100% Taquito.  I know, I know, the name is bad.  The name actually kept me from trying it out for many years.  But once I had their chicken mole tacos, I was 100% converted.  Making these tacos cured my tastebuds’ homesickness, if only for the day.  Which is a great thing. The short story is that they’re delicious, and you should make them.

you’ll need:

1 roasted (or poached) chicken
3 tbs mole paste
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups monterrey jack cheese
Flour tortillas (buy these fresh or make your own!)

to garnish:
cilantro, lime, sliced radish, avocado, pico de gallo, etc etc.

What you’ll do:
I started with a two-pound roasted chicken from whole foods.  I think that next time I make these tacos, I’ll roast my own chicken, rubbed in mole paste.  But this time, I was hungry and feeling crummy, so I skipped that step.  I pulled the entire chicken from the bone using two forks.

I bought a homemade mole sauce from a mexican market on 11th street- it conveniently came with zero instructions and it resembled more of a paste than a sauce, so I improvised!  In a saucepan, I heated two tablespoons of vegetable oil and started adding the mole paste/sauce (three tbs in all).  I added about 1 cup of chicken stock (if you poached your chicken, the stock would come in handy here) and watched in awe as the sauce came together.   Once the sauce was reconstituted and tasted y-u-m, i added the shredded chicken.  Easy! To assemble, heat up two flour tortillas, layer a scoop of chicken on top of a small mountain of jack cheese, and let the whole thing melt together in a pan.  I garnish with lots of lime, radish, cilantro, and avocado.   The end.   Love, Hungry Texans

cilantro-lime black beans

beware: these little beans may be low-maintenance, but they will steal the spotlight if served with anything short of spectacular.

You’ll need:

2 cans black beans

1 cup cilantro

2 limes

S & P, to taste

Cumin, to taste


simmer two cans of black beans in a saucepan.  you could use fresh beans, but when your roommate disappears to Costco for an afternoon and returns with several pallets of legumes, you’ll want to take the easy route.

roughly chop a handful of cilantro and add to the pot.

quarter two juicy limes, squeeze them into the beans, and add a couple quarters to the pot.

season with salt, pepper & cumin.  and then forget about them.  five minutes before serving, if needed, i’ll add a cup of veggie stock to get them happy again.

perfectly simple, protein-rich, and happy on the back burner.  those are our kind of beans!