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Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
02-17-2015, 11:04 AM
Post: #1
Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
This is a delicious multipurpose garlic spread/marinade/sauce that my brother found online--Rick Bayless gets credit for it, and you can find it for his description and suggested uses. I find it great as a regular spread for toast or bread, it has turned out delicious as a sauce for wild mushroom angliotti (pasta), it works as a substitute for traditional scampi sauce, or as a marinade for pork, chicken, fish, and the oil can be used to sauté vegetables or fry up eggs, etc. really anything that calls for garlic, oil and an acid is probably worth a try. Here goes--it's pretty simple.

Ingredients: garlic cloves (about four large heads worth or enough to fill the bottom of a square or rectangular Pyrex casserole dish).
extra virgin olive oil--fruitier flavored is better, but as long as it's olive oil it'll work out just fine. About 2 cups, but possibly more or less depending on how much garlic and the size of your Pyrex dish.
A half cup of lime juice or two nice sized limes worth of juice.
One teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt.

How it's made: preheat the oven to 350F. Peel the garlic cloves and in the process, lightly press them with the flat of your knife or your palm. If you use pre-peeled garlic, just mash them slightly--you don't want it crushed, just each clove opened up a tiny bit. Next cover the bottom of the casserole dish with the garlic--it's should basically be one layer of garlic cloves covering the entire bottom of the dish. Next combine the salt and oil, and pour it over the garlic until the cloves are completely submerged (this is where you may need to use more or less to get the desired coverage of the garlic. Ideally no garlic should stick up over the surface of the oil). Place it in the oven for about 45 minutes until the garlic is very light brown--very important to make sure the garlic doesn't fry and/or burn, it should basically roast in the oil and get nice and soft rather than tough on the outside. Next add the lime juice and return it to the oven for another 15-20 minutes for the lime to get soaked into the garlic, and water content to cook off. The garlic should be a nice golden brown when it's finished. Again, don't let it fry or burn!! Remove it from the oven, and then mash the garlic with a fork or potato masher until it is a nice purée consistency throughout. Store it in a wide mouth container (I use 2 medium sized mason jars and divide it up so each one has the same oil to garlic ratio). Put it in the fridge and it should last a few months as long as the garlic is covered with oil. Enjoy!! This stuff is fantastic!
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02-17-2015, 01:55 PM
Post: #2
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
Sounds good!

I'm thinking lightly saute some big 'ol shrimp in the oil, then toss 'em into a taco with avocado, lemony jicama slivers, and rice vinegar slaw.

Thx for sharing...

To ask why we cook is to ask why the leaves fall...
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02-17-2015, 05:58 PM
Post: #3
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
The oil alone is pretty nicely infused, but the garlic purée gets more noticeable acidity from the lime. I think there's a specific Rick Bayless recipe for shrimp using precisely this mojo de ajo.
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02-18-2015, 07:04 AM
Post: #4
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
Thanks for sharing meshugganer. Sunset I'll be waiting to see what lovely things you'll make and then do show and tell with us here. Smile

"... always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can..." Practical Magic
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03-23-2015, 05:09 PM (This post was last modified: 03-23-2015 05:19 PM by meshugganer.)
Post: #5
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
Just a little addendum--I recently saw an article claiming that the current huge demand for EVOO has resulted in a huge amount of fake EVOO finding its way into the American market. Some fairly common brands on supermarket shelves were tested and found to be bogus--cheaper oils with artificial flavorings and chlorophyll added for color.

Here's a link to an article that lists the numerous frauds and a few genuine brands near the end:
http://lifehacker.com/the-most-and-least...1460894373
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03-25-2015, 02:56 PM
Post: #6
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
Thanks for spreading the good word. Most folks are not aware of this. I keep 3 levels of olive oil on hand at all times.

-A super high end artisan label out of Paso Robles for drizzles and dunking.
-Kirkland for day in-day out use. I'd use this one for the mojo de ajo.
-And a bottle of the cheap stuff for high heat sautee. The smoking point is much higher than the real deal because it's blended.

To ask why we cook is to ask why the leaves fall...
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03-26-2015, 12:18 PM
Post: #7
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
Sounds great! I'll try it!

We have a big street in Tucson named AJO WAY.
Even many locals do not know what "ajo" means though...

"I don't cook; I prepare things." My late brother Bill
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04-19-2015, 06:18 AM
Post: #8
RE: Mojo de ajo (garlic, evoo and lime marinade/spread/sauce)
Based on how the oil in my last batch solidified in the fridge, I'm guessing my choice of oil was ok (I hadn't been "hipped" to the EVOO mafia yet--I was hoping for something really better than average and avoided the cheaper/heavily stocked stuff), but I recently had to buy more and found that the only "real" brand from the list in the article on the shelf at our local SM was the California Olive Ranch. Our store tends to have a wide variety, and some of them are nowhere on either the bad or good list, but I went with the sure thing. FWIW--3 months fridge life is a conservative estimate. Im pretty sure we've had some for 4-5 months and it was just as good at the end as it was fresh. And finally one last tip: if you use limes to make your own juice, the pulp can rise above the oil after it solidifies in the fridge and may dry a bit too, creating the appearace of a layer of "fuzz" on top. I thought my last batch (made some time during the winter) had mold on top at first glance, but it was perfectly fine once I really looked at it more closely. Still have a little left, but it's dwindling. I have yet to try it, but my brother recommended making scrambled eggs with it and then adding a touch of hot sauce.
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