This week my CSA box included tangerines, Keitt mangoes, lime and cilantro. These ingredients inspired me to make my version of a mojo - a spicy, sweet, garlicky sauce that often includes citrus and cumin widespread throughout the Canary Islands, Cuba and the Caribbean. Delicious with just about any grilled meat, it can also be used as a marinade, on eggs, on rice, with chips and grilled or roasted veggies. It is shown above with a lamb slider. —gingerroot
large firm, ripe mango - about 1 generous cup (I used a Keitt which is green when ripe but any sweet variety can be used)
large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a large knife
cumin seeds, toasted
small moderately hot chile pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a red Hawaiian chili pepper but a serrano could be substituted)
tangerine juice (I used 1 medium sized tangerine)
cilantro, stems finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
black beans, rinsed and drained if from a can
Using a sharp knife, slice mango lengthwise from top to bottom as close to the oblong flat pit (without cutting the pit itself) as possible. Repeat on the other side so you have two meaty halves and the center of the fruit containing the pit (with minimal mango flesh). Score the flesh of the halves lengthwise and crosswise (without cutting through the skin). You should now be able to easily peel out the flesh or cut out with a sharp knife. Transfer mango, garlic, toasted cumin seeds, chopped chile and citrus juices to a blender. Puree to combine.
Add salt to taste. Pulse to combine.
Transfer mojo to a small serving bowl. Fold in cilantro and black beans. Enjoy with grilled meats, sausages, with chips, on eggs, on rice - on just about anything.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.