Remember when I made the garlic shrimp? This is essentially the same thing, garlic and oil and toastiness. But I was watching Mexico: One Plate at a Time the other day and Rick Bayless made the mojo de ajo a completely different way – in the oven.
The mojo de ajo was the basis for our entire dinner club meal, so the recipes that follow will have mojo de ago in them. Also, in my haste to eat my food, I forgot to take photos of a number of these recipes, so you’ll just have to imagine what they look like. Use your imaginations! Or Google a picture. Whatevs.
This recipe makes a lot of mojo. A lot. That jar up there, that’s a liter jar. So that’s a whole liter of oil and garlic. And it is spectacular.
Slow Roasted Garlic Mojo (Mojo de Ajo)
Makes about 3 cups mojo de ajo (made with 2 cups of oil)
- 4 large heads garlic or 10 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) peeled garlic cloves
- 2 or 3 cups fruity olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Break the heads
of garlic apart, then mash each clove (a fist against the side of a knife is what I do) to release the clove from its papery skin; if using already-peeled garlic, scoop the cloves into a heavy plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them slightly.
Stir together the garlic, oil and salt in an 8×8-inch baking pan (make sure all the garlic is submerged), slide it into the oven and bake until the garlic is soft and lightly brown, about 45 to 55 minutes.
Add the lime juice and return to the oven for 20 minutes for the garlic to absorb the lime and turn golden brown. (If you’re using the larger quantity of oil, ladle off 1 cup—no garlic cloves—and store it in a cool dry place for use in salad dressing or sautéing.)
Using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork, mash the garlic into a coarse puree. Pour the mixture into a wide-mouth storage container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy some deliciousness. The mojo will last for up to three months as long as the garlic stays submerged under the oil.