Inspiration for this dish? We’re hungry! Lol! But seriously, my foodie friend Laura Lynn Lopez had been telling us about how delicious the garlic mojo recipe was. And it just happens to be a recipe developed by one of my all time favorite chefs, Rick Bayless. I have all of his books and I read the recipe, but like so many recipes in books, I don’t think about them once I close the book. I have prepared garlic mojo several times, but I made the fresh, uncooked version. Slow cooking the garlic in oil, there is nothing like it! For todays blog post, I had lots of wonderful garlic, already peeled and ready to go. I purchased it that way at my favorite market for a good price. It made things alot easier when you need almost 4 full bulbs of garlic cloves. So, I figured once I prepared the garlic mojo, marinating and grilling something was bound to happen. And to me, garlic mojo and pork are just meant to be. Garlic Mojo Marinated Pork Steaks is what I prepared. Great the first day, hot off the grill and garnished with more garlic mojo, tasty!! Second and thirda days….Garlic Mojo Tacos de Carnitas. Some of the most flavorful pork tacos I have had in a while. The bonus part og the garlic mojo recipe is that it can be used in so many recipes. Great for crostini garlic bread, dressings, marinade, seasoning, pasta, salsa’s and so much more!
*This recipe was adapted from chef Rick Bayless, love him!
2 full cups of garlic, cloves peeled 1 cup avocado oil 1 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 6 chile de arbol, crushed 1 1/2 teaspoons mexican oregano, crushed 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In an 8X8 baking dish, add the garlic, oil, salt, chile de arbol and oregano. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
2. After 45 minutes, add the lime juice and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a potato masher, break down the cloves of garlic garlic. Let cool at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Garlic Mojo Marinated Pork Steaks
2 1/2 pounds pork steaks, 3 steaks salt pepper 3/4 cup garlic mojo
1. Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to plastic storage bag or baking dish. Cover with garlic mojo. Marinate for 2 to 4 hours.
2. Remove the pork from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Prepare grill preheat to medium/high heat, 350 to 400 degrees.
3. When ready, grill pork steaks for about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees F. Remove from grill onto plate. Cover with foil and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes. Yields 6 serving
Garlic Mojo Tacos de Carnitas
Grilled pork steak, about 1 1/2 pounds 2 to 3 tablespoons garlic mojo 16 corn tortillas (double tortilla tacos) 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped 1/3 cup onion, diced Your favorite hot sauce or salsa Lime wedges
1. Slice and chop the pork steak into small pieces. Preheat skillet to medium/high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. When hot, add the pork and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic mojo and cook for 2 more minutes. Cover and keep warm on low. The key is to cook the pork at high heat so it begins to caramelize and brown. This will give it a more carnitas flavor without all the frying.
2. Heat tortillas on large comal or griddle and keep warm. For a more traditional street taco, I like to double up on the corn tortillas for a hearty taco. Divide the carnitas into 8 double tortilla tacos. Garnish with cilantro, onion, salsa and lime. Yields 4 servings.
Flank Steak on the Coals or as I like to call it “Cowboy Steak”. All I could think of when I watched Alton Brown’s video for cooking skirt steak directly on the hot coals was that maybe that’s the way they did it back in the “cowboy era”. Curiosity got the best of me, so I had to try it! I asked a few of my griiling friends, but I did not really get much response, lol. I just had to try it and see if it really worked. They always make everything look so easy and delicious on those food videos, this was a good way to test it out. Just a couple of years ago, you would never catch us eating a steak with any trace of pink inside, lol! Now as I have learned and tried the different steaks on the grill as well as in my cast iron pan, pink is not bad at all. All I can say is that is was one one the most perfectly cooked flank steaks I had ever eaten. Alton Brown used skirt steak, but I could only find flank steak. There was a slight flaw to the recipe, but nothing that could not be fixed. These were my results for cooking flank steak directly on the hot coals. I love Alton Brown!!
2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Fresh cracked pepper
Chile ancho powder
*You will also need
Charcoal grill and lump or regular charcoal
Canola or grapeseed oil, more salt, pepper and granulated garlic
1. Season the steak generously with salt, pepper and chile ancho powder on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour. The salt will help to keep it from spoiling.
2. About 30 minutes before you cook the steak, prepare a nice size charcoal fire in you grill. You want it to be big enough to accomodate the size of steak.
3. When an hour has past and the fire is good and hot, lay the steak directly onto the hot coals. Cook for 45 to 50 seconds per side for a medium rare steak. Transfer to a couple sheets of heavy foil paper and wrap tightly. Let sit for 15 minutes.
4. Now according to the original recipe, it said that any coal left on steak would just dissolve and blend in. Nope! LOl! There was a little too much grit left on the steak for my liking. I let it cool completely in the foil and chilled it overnight.
5. The next day, I unwrapped the steak and gently let some cool running water run onto it until I saw all the charcoal fall off. Try not to rub it too much. Slice it thin against the grain.
6. Preheat a couple of tablespoons of canola or grapeseed oil to medium/high heat in a cast iron skillet for 5 to 6 minutes. You want it nice and hot, almost to the point of smoking. Toss in half of the steak and lightly re-season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. You are literally only stir frying it to heat and sear the meat a little. Remove from pan on to plate and tent with foil paper. Repeat with the remaining steak. Serve right away. The steak was moist and tender, even after the second cook. Yields 6 to 8 servings. I served it with warm tortillas and homemade salsa for taco Tuesday!
Tips~ I added some chile oil while I was stir frying the steak for extra flavor and heat. Here is the link to Alton Brown’s video on Food Network http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=7GQc8p-u2rU&u=/watch%3Fv%3DQ5y2voEWJ6U%26feature%3Dshare
*Grilled Beef and Zucchini Meatballs Stuffed with Hot Peppers August 18, 2014. This recipe for grilled meatballs was to prove to my better half that it was possible to prepare stuffed meatballs without the use of any cheese! Don’t get me wrong, I so badly wanted to stuff them with feta cheese and add more crumbled feta cheese for garnish once they were done. This time I spared him of any cheese and he was very happy….just wait until next time Richard, ha, ha, ha… For the sauce, I knew I wanted a fresh tomato sauce and something that came together quickly. I took the leftover peppers and some of the brine and blended them with the fresh tomatoes. It made for a zesty, delicious sauce. Perfect for these meatballs with a little Greek twist! Next time feta for sure!
2 pounds ground chuck 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, press the excess liquid out
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 cup deli sliced peperoncini peppers, drain and reserve the brine (you will need a 16 ounce jar with the brine for the entire recipe)
For the sauce
3 large roma tomatoes
4 ounces peperoncini peppers, reserve the last 4 ounces
6 ounces peperoncini brine
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Basil for garnish, to taste
1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients for the meatballs, minus the 1 cup of peperoncini peppers. Line a sheet pan with parchment , wax or foil paper. Divide and make 12 meatballs. Take each meatball and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Ad about 1 tablespoon of peppers to the center and then form the meatball around the peppers until sealed. Transfer to the lined baking sheet. Repeat until all done. Chill for 1 hour.
2. Prepare your your grill for indirect grilling at about 250 degrees F. This means you will have a hot side and and a cool side. Transfer the meatballs to a pan safe for the grill. Place on the cool side of the grill, close the lid and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. I added a small amount of soaked apple wood chips during the last half hour of cooking, but that is optional. You are looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Once meatballs are cooked all the way through, move the pan over to the hot side of grill and cook for just another minute or so.
3. While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the sauce. Rough chop the roma tomatoes and transfer to the blender. Add 4 ounces of the peperoncini peppers and 6 ounces of the brine from the peppers. Blend on high until smooth set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the sauce from the blender, along with the remaining ingredients listed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and taste for salt and pepper.Cook at a low simmer until sauce reduces slightly and becomes thick. Remove from heat and reheat before serving with meatballs. Garnish with fresh basil. Yields up to 6 servings.
Tips~ If peppers are not your first choice for stuffing the meatballs, you could certainly stuff them with cheese if you like. I like using cubed feta or queso fresco because it won’t melt and leak out of the meatballs while cooking. If you would like more sauce you can double up on the recipe, but I just meant it to be as a garnish for the meatballs.
*Grilled Red Chile Mojo Chicken is a variation of my original mojo grilled chicken recipe as posted on the Hispanic Kitchen site. I thought why not add some bright red smoky chile guajillo to really bump of the flavor.
12 dried New Mexico or guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed
Juice of 4 oranges
Juice of 4 limes
2 bulbs garlic, peeled and minced
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon pepper
3/4 cup oil
Salt to taste
You will also need
12 chicken thighs (I used bone in, skin on about 4 pounds)
oil for brushing onto grates of grill
1. Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade, minus the dried chiles. Add the dried chiles to a pot of boiling water, reduce heat and continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer peppers to the blender along with 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth, strain out the pulp and add it to the mojo marinade. Taste for salt and pour over the chicken thighs and marinate overnight.
2. Prepare outdoor charcoal or gas grill for indirect heat. Remove chicken from marinade about 40 minutes before you are ready to grill, shaking off excess liquid. Transfer leftover marinade to a sauce pan and heat to a low simmer.
3. Brush the grates of grill with oil. Place the chicken thighs directly above the coals, skin side down, and sear on high heat for a few minutes. Transfer to indirect heat side of grill and continue cooking for about 2 hours or until temp. reaches 165 degrees. Baste with cooked mojo sauce about every 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest. Yields 6 to 8 servings.
Grilled Red Chile Mojo Chicken
Instructions for Cooking Red Chile Mojo in the Oven. I had a few pieces of chicken left in the marinade and I was cooking some ribs low and slow in the oven at the same time, so I added the chicken in a separate baking dish.
Follow directions as posted. Preheat your oven at 250 degrees F. Place the chicken in a large baking pan, skin side up. Cover tightly with foil paper and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove chicken from oven , uncover and baste generously with cooked mojo sauce . Turn oven to broil and return chicken to oven. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving. Sserve with any extra mojo sauce.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.