This recipe is a creamy twist on a traditional Cuban garlic sauce known as mojo criollo.
For a traditional mojo criollo, there are a few basic ingredients you can always count on: sour orange juice, fresh garlic, and salt. Optional herbs and spices include oregano, paprika, cumin and black pepper. It can also be made with or without olive oil.
If you can’t find sour oranges at your local grocery store or international market, you can substitute a mixture of other citrus juices instead. I use equal parts orange juice and lime juice. The flavor isn’t exactly the same, but it is still tasty.
The citrus juice gives the sauce a tart base, and the copious amounts of garlic give it a strong bite, while the oregano and cumin give it an earthiness. The Greek yogurt adds a bit of tanginess and helps balance out the garlicky punch.
I initially served this wonderfully garlicky sauce as a dip with fried plantain chips for a quick party snack. I used the leftover as a dressing for a steak salad the next day.
Creamy Mojo Criollo
Makes 1-½ cups
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Place the minced garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add the salt and work into a smooth paste.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, ground cumin, lime juice, orange juice, dried oregano and Greek yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Alicia Ghio is a passionate home cook on a mission to inspire others to know where their food comes from, to know what’s in it and to savor the flavors of fresh, local ingredients. She is the founder and author of the blog Local Food Rocks.