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Make Your Own Mojo Criollo: Caribbean Garlic Sauce!

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Mojo Criollo is an “indispensable” garlic sauce used in the Latino kitchen. In Puerto Rico, mojo is commonly used as aliño (marinade) for pork and meats. In Cuba it’s also served over yucca or any other tuber vegetable such as potatoes and fried plantains.   But its use doesn’t stop there.   Mojo criollo can also be added to many other recipes such as rice dishes, soups and stews.

There are many varieties to this sauce, but the main ingredients remain the same: garlic—the more the better—sour orange juice, dried oregano, oil salt and pepper. Other optional ingredients include cilantro, onions and tomato paste.

There are also different methods of preparation. While some people like to briefly cook the garlic in the oil, some others prefer just to mix everything together without cooking it. I usually like to cook the garlic a little bit to bring out the flavor, but again, it’s up to the cook’s creativity!

However, one thing never changes; store-bought mojo is a POOR substitute for a real homemade one! There’s no point of comparison. Mojo made from scratch will always be full of flavor and body, not to mention it will not contain all the added food additives and preservatives found in commercially made mojo.

Here is the recipe, ENJOY!

Mojo Ingredients

Ingredients  & Method  (Yields: about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup sour orange juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat the oil to medium heat.

Add garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic.

Add remaining ingredients and cook for a couple of minutes.

Adjust the salt and remove from heat.

Optional: Blend the mojo in a food processor for a smoother consistency.

Ajo

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