Citizens, our “week of garlic” has crested like a wave and thus it is time for us to visit the idyllic shores of the Caribbean island of Cuba for today’s allium-laced recipe! 🙂
Mojo (from the Portuguese molho, meaning “sauce”) is the name, or abbreviated name, of several types of sauces, varying in spiciness, consisting primarily of olive oil, salt, water, local pepper varieties (called pimienta in the Canary Islands), garlic, paprika (called pimentón in Spain), cumin or coriander and other spices.
Mojo originated in the Canary Islands, where the main varieties are red mojo (mojo rojo) and green mojo (mojo verde). Other countries have recipes similar to mojo, where acid ingredients such as vinegar, lemon, orange or lime juice may be used.
In Cuban cooking, mojo applies to any sauce that is made with garlic, olive oil, and a citrus juice, traditionally bitter orange juice. It is commonly used to flavor the cassava tuber and is also used to marinate roast pork.
Without oregano, the sauce is typically called ‘mojito’ and used for dipping plantain chips (a TFD favorite!) and fried cassava (yuca). To create the marinade for pork, the ingredients are bitter orange juice, garlic, oregano, and salt.
My recipe – of course – includes several tweaks to the classic recipe, including the use of a hint of roasted garlic to round out the raw garlic sharpness and a touch of mint as well. Since sour orange juice is very difficult to find outside of Latino markets, I provide a most effective substitute for your palatal pleasure! 🙂
This sauce would make an old shoe taste ambrosial, Citizens! 😀
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 heads garlic, peeled
1 head garlic, roasted (TFD change – classic recipe uses non-roasted)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup freshly squeezed sour orange juice or ¾ cup fresh orange juice and scant ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro
4 leaves mint (TFD addition)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly-ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 dried red chile de arbol, seeds removed
1 cup olive oil
In the bowl of food processor, add all except olive oil. Process until it is a smooth paste, about 2 minutes.
Through the feeder tube of the food processor, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is fully emulsified.
Store in the refrigerator until ready for use.
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