As you can see from our “Population Sign” on the banner of this blog, this family spent some time in Florida. (I hope you find our “Six Feet Photo humerous.) We loved our time there and still love all our friends and family who are lucky enough to get to live there year-round. One of the pleasures of returning to Florida is all the good food we are served/order/make. Florida cuisine is very influenced by two countries Cuba and New York. Both nationalities often arrive by their personal yatchs. The size just varies un poco. Both speak their own languages while in Florida, and bring with them their cultures. This is very evident while in the deli line at Publix (the Florida grocery store–where shopping is a pleasure.) The New Yorkers take a number, but then butt in line and demand service. The Cubans don’t take a number and enjoy visiting together while they wait to be served. You might think that this system doesn’t work, however, after observing the New Yorkers vrs. The Cubans, I have come to the conclusion that customers keep returning to the Publix deli line as their needs are being met. The New Yorkers are always rushing to get to their social life. They have to “go” to socialize. The Cubans, however, ARE socializing–right there in the deli line. They don’t have to hurry anywhere as they are enjoying life right at that very moment. Of course the Mid-Westerners stick out the worst. The Cubans have gorgeous dark brown tans. The New Yorkers have flawless-white-cosmetic-ized skin, and the Mid-Westerners are a roasted bright pink. While the New Yorkers hurry, and the Cubans relax, the Mid-Westerners are confused. Publix–where people watching is a pleasure.
One of the great secrets to Cuban flavored meats is their Mojo sauce. [Not moe-joe, more like moe-hoe] You can buy it bottled by Goya or Badia, or make it yourself.
The secret to Mojo Marinade is sour oranges. Seville Oranges. Bet you’ve never heard of them. No problem. We can mimic their flavour by adding lemon and lime juice to the orange juice. Although Mojo recipes vary, the main ingredients are oranges, limes, lemons, garlic, salt, pepper, onion, and usually oregano. (Bobby Flay omits oregano. Three Guys From Cuba don’t. Rebecca uses cumin, instead of oregano. You get to choose.) Let’s start.
For every two oranges add one lime and one lemon. (2/1/1 proportions.) Add the zest if you want some zing. Some zesty, zing. So go ahead and squeeze up the citrus. I forgot to take pictures, so I am re-using this photo of a lime. Please forgive my mental ineptness.
Most recipes don’t call for onions but I wanted to give that zesty, zing some heat, so I added two small onions or one large yellow onion. Just quarter the onion(s) as everything is going in the blender.
How is it that this little bulb can pack so much flavour into such a tiny capsule. Mojo marinade IS garlic. Most recipes call for a whole head of cloves for one cup of orange juice. I added the onion instead of so much garlic. Add about 4 cloves to give that hot, zesty, zing a punch.
Oil is usually added if you are marinating chicken, fish, or beef, but not if you are marinating pork as it has enough fat to keep it moist. (The oil keeps the meat moist.) Add 1/2 cup of oil (olive oil). I added a bit of vinegar also to give that punchy, hot, zesty, zing a bite. Add about 3 tablespoons.
I prefer cumin to oregano as cumin gives the Cuban marinade a bit of a Mexican flavor. So add 1 tablespoon of cumin to give that biting, punchy, hot, zesty, zing a bit of Meixican “Ole!”
Throw in some salt-N-peppah into that marinade and do a dance. (1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Now throw that dancing, Mexican, biting, punchy, hot, zesty, zing into a blender and shout “Ole!” at the top of your voice. Cha-Cha-Cha as you turn on the blender, and take a bow when the blending is finished.
Pour your dancing, Mexican, biting, punchy, hot, zesty, zing-ding Mojo marinade over your meat and marinade. Beef, chicken, and pork can marinade overnight. (It isn’t necessary, you only need 1 hour or so.) Fish, however, can only marinade for about 50 minutes. Cha-Cha-Cha to your heart’s content for your grilled/broiled/baked meat will certainly taste delicous.
now don’t you wish you could come cook with me?
–Senorita Rosita Rebecca de la Mancha
P.S. sigh. I sure have fun cooking with you guys. I tripled this recipe as I was “cook’n up some eats.” If you make extra marinade, it will keep in the refrigerator for weeks. Here’s my Mojo Marinade Recipe. 3/1/1 oranges, lemon, lime; 1 onion; 4 cloves garlic; 1/2 cup olive oil; 3 T. vinegar; 1 T. cumin; 1 t. salt; 1/4 t. peppah; 1 Ole!; 3 Cha-Cha-Cha’s. Blend in blender while dancing. Pour over meat and let marinade for 1 plus hour(s).
This website by Three Guys from Cuba is great. Check out their whole roasted hog marinated in Mojo sauce.
P.P.S. Here is another Florida photo. This girlie (Scout) is now 8 years old!!!