Mojo

With our upcoming trip to Florida, I thought it was only fitting to share some recipes for Cuban classic Mojo Pork and Yucca Mash that I had tried recently. Mojo, or Mojito (not the beverage), is a mix of oil, onion, garlic, spices and bitter citrus juice such as orange or lime. Cuban Mojo originated from immigrants from the Canary Islands. Though the ingredients are a little different that the Canary Islanders use indigenous peppers instead of citrus, the preparations are similar. Mojo pork is great on its own like I do in this recipe or on the perfect Cuban sandwich; you can decide which delicious route you want to go. For these recipes, I utilized the Food Network and Epicuirous. Hope you enjoy and remember always stay hungry.

Mojo Pork with Mashed Garlic Yucca

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For the Mojo Pork Loin (Bobby Flay):

  • 4 ½ cups fresh orange juice, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lime, zested
  • ½ cup oregano, divided
  • 12 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 lbs pork loin
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

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  1. Combine 4 cups of the orange juice and 1 cup of the lime juice and zest in a large saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 cups. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining orange juice and lime juice add a few cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of the oregano. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Using a paring knife, make small slits over the entire surface of the pork and rub the garlic into the slashes. Whisk together the oil and remaining 1/4 cup of the oregano in a large roasting pan, add the pork and turn to coat, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook for 40-45 minutes. Basting with the marinade 15 minutes into roasting, and roast until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reaches 150 degrees F. If you want more color on the pork, turn your broiler onto high and broil for a few minutes until desired caramelization. Remove from the oven, baste with any remaining glaze, tent loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

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Mojo dipping sauce:

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano chile, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Mashed Garlic Yucca (Epicuirous)

image<– this is a Yucca root

 

 

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  • 4 lb fresh yuca (also called cassava; preferably 2 inches in diameter) or 3 lb frozen
  • 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups hot milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  1. Trim the ends from the yucca and use your knife to trim the remainder, removing all waxy brown skin and pinkish layer underneath.
  2. Cut yucca into 3-inch-thick pieces.
  3. Put Yucca in a pot with salted water, enough to cover by two inches. Boil until tender and starting to fall apart, 50 minutes to 1 1/4 hours.
  4. Heat milk and butter over low heat until the butter is melted.
  5. Drain the yucca and transfer to a cutting board. Carefully halve the pieces of yucca lengthwise and remove the thin woody cores. Return yuca to the pot and begin to mash, and add in garlic and lime juice. Pour in the milk/butter mixture a little at a time as you mix the yucca. Mix until desired thickness is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.

I tweaked both of the original recipes just a little to utilize the type of protein I had the time to make, and the consistency I prefer the yucca to be. For the original recipes visit:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/mojo-marinated-pork-recipe.html

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-yucca-with-garlic-103333