Monday, November 8, 2010

Mojo - The Latin Garlic Sauce

Mojo is a staple in Latin cooking, especially Cuban cuisine. Every kitchen has its own house recipe but the ingredients remain basically the same: fresh garlic, chopped onion, olive oil and fresh citrus juice. Normally, sour orange is used as the citrus but it can be hard to come by in many places other than Miami and its indigenous homes. I use a combination of lime, lemon and orange juices, which gives a similar flavor. I also use a bit of Sherry vinegar, which is just my way of making Mojo. Moja is traditionally served over boiled yuca, especially on Nocha Buena or Christmas Eve in many Latin or Caribbean households. I use it as a base marinade for pork chops chicken or shrimp. It also makes a great sauce for roasted potatoes or tostones, which are twice fried green plantains. Makes my mouth water just to think about it. The measurements are approximate. But there are two things that are absolutely required: Mojo is a garlic sauce with a strong garlic flavor so you must use lots of fresh garlic. And lastly, you must use freshly squeezed citrus juice. Nothing reconstituted or bottled will work. I use dried herbs in mine, fresh if I have them. Use or omit according to your own taste. This sauce will knock your socks off......... and keep the vampires at bay!

Mojo - Latin garlic sauce

1/2 cup Good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lime- juiced
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 orange juice
1 Tablespoon Good quality Sherry vinegar
6-8 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
pinch of Cumin
1 Bay leaf, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 Tablespoons fresh
 Salt and pepper to taste

Pour olive oil in a glass jar with a lid. Add garlic and onion. Heat in microwave for about 30 seconds or over low heat for a minute or two. You just want to infuse the oil by warming it, not completely cook the garlic and onion. Add the fresh squeezed citrus juices, sherry vinegar, herbs and spices. Top jar with lid and shake. Will keep in refrigerator for about a week.

Use as a marinade for shrimp, chicken, beef or pork. (I usually marinade the meat over night, a few hours for the shrimp.) and then grill, broil or bake. Also wonderful used to marinade a lamb. Add fresh mint and omit bay leaf if using on lamb.
Serve sauce on the table to spoon over roasted meats or poultry or veggies.
Great over roasted potatoes, boiled yuca, fried green plantains or plain white rice too.

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