Thursday, July 28, 2005

Cookin No. 8 - Got the Mojo Rising

The severer heat has finally come to an end. Last night, the sky opened, and a ton of rain fell downward in the course of 5 minutes. After that, a sweet breeze came to the rescue, and my family and I sat on the back porch eating a wonderful meal. My father made a stake with Mojo sauce, (pronounced mo-ho). Apparently mojo is the name for several types of sauces that originated in the Canary Islands. The main base ingredients of all mojo sauces consist of, olive oil, loads of garlic, paprika or chili powder, along with cumin and a form of acid. Vinegar, lemon, orange or lime. The mojo that my father made was made with oranges. Mojo is usually used on pork dishes, but some mojo sauces contain more sweet ingredients like mango and those accompany fish dishes.

Last night, the mojo was poured over steaks, and grilled onions were pilled on top. The side dish was my favorite, Glazed fennel… mmm mmm mmm. Fennel is a great vegetable/ herb that tastes like licorice, it’s very refreshing when its served cold, and very tasty when its glazed like last night. Fennel also has some medicinal properties, fennel tea can help with indigestion, and stimulate the flow of breast milk.

So I found a Bobby Flay recipe for some mojo, I will have to try this with some pulled pork. Yumm.


3 sour oranges
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and separated
Chopped fresh oregano leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the oranges down the middle and squeeze the juice. Mash a head of garlic in a morteros (a thick bowl with a mashing paddle used in Latino cooking). Add a little salt to the garlic (more than a pinch, less than a teaspoon). Add the sour orange juice to the mixture. Add oregano and pepper, to taste. Brush the Mojo Sauce on the food as it is cooking.

*This recipe is not my own.


Last night was also great because I got my uniform jackets. My mother, who knows that I would do a horrible job at hemming my uniforms, has offered to do them herself. Which I am so grateful for, because not only will they look nice and professional, but it will also save me the agony of sewing by hand, (she has a sewing machine). So the jackets are done, and they look wonderful. That wonderful mother of my even washed them a whole bunch of times, so the fabric is soft. I tried on the jackets, with my aprons, and looked at myself in the mirror. A great sense of pride and excitement washed over me. I can’t wait until I wear that uniform every day.

As I was laying in bed, I was thinking about how strange it is that I would choose this as my career. I was never a good cook, when I first moved out on my own, I lived on macaroni and cheese. But something changed with the first meal attempt, aside from the fact that it was undercooked, and tasted pretty bad, I thought, “I better start paying attention to my father. I should be good at this, I grew up with this. I better start paying attention”. And I did, and here I am, going to culinary school. My favorite job was waitressing anyway, so I knew that I would love being on my feet, and running around. I could care less about the pain or the stress, I love the environment of restaurants. I’m laying in bed thinking, “who knew” with a goofy grin on my face.

Bon Appetite


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that first meal...shudder... "Hey, is anyone else's chicken really tender? Cause mine's....oh. Oooh, mine's not cooked!" But at least you learned from it!

4:46 PM  
Blogger McAuliflower said...

I'm looking forward to reading your culinary school adventures! I'm something of a school voyeur ;)

I love mojos on just about any sort of meat. One of my first cooking Aha! moments was a mango jalapeno mojo on grilled fish. Mmm makes me drool just thinking about it!

8:56 PM  

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