Guy Fieri has his mojo working. Bigtime and off the hook. The culinary career of the quick witted badboy/rock star of the Food Network began as a 10-year-old selling homemade pretzels. He went to the University of Las Vegas (where else) and got a degree in Hospitality Managment (actually, UNLV is highly regarded for this school). He was busy running modest restaurants in California when he entered and won the second "Next Food Network Star" reality cooking competition in 2006. Shortly thereafter his "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" show debuted and Fieri went over the top, tooling across the nation in his convertible Camaro fist bumping chefs and eaters in half the downscale joints in the Nation.
But Fieri is a respectable cook and restaurateur. He didn't win that reality cooking contest on his personality alone, although it is his spikey hair and signature catch phrases that have propelled him to crossover stardom, even hosting the prime time non-food game show "Minute to Win It" on NBC. Fieri also has some fun cookbooks including Guy Fieri Food.
Mojo sauce is a catchall for a wide range of big flavored sauces and marinades from the Caribbean. Some are red, some are green. They are especially popular in Cuba and Puerto Rico where every mother has her own recipe, usually relying heavily on garlic, olive oil, citrus. Here Fieri has paired his mojo with my favorite food, pork ribs, and in the Caribbean it most frequently used on pork, but it is also wonderful on chicken, fish, and beef.
Recipe: Cuban Mojo Sauce
Prep time. 30 minutes
Cooking time. 3 hours
Makes. enough sauce for about 8 pounds of pork spare ribs, enough for about 6 servings
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onion tops
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
About the ribs. Fieri recommends spare ribs, but baby backs will work fine.
About the lemon and lime juices. Fresh juice is noticeably different that bottled, but bottled will work in a pinch.
1) Setup your cooker for 2-zone or Indirect cooking with water pans and peg the temp at around 225°F.
2) Make the rub by mixing the granulated garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Season ribs all over, rubbing the seasoning into the ribs well.
4) While the meat is cooking, make mojo sauce. Process ingredients in a blender into a smooth sauce, and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning once more just before serving. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
5) Wrap each slab in two layers of aluminum foil, meaty side down, trying not to tear the foil on the bones. Crimp foil edges to seal packet. Return the ribs to indirect heat, close the lid, and cook for 1 hour.
6) Carefully unwrap ribs, they will be very steamy and hot. Return unwrapped ribs to the grill and place them on the hot side and close the lid. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, lid up, watching so they don't burn.
7) Transfer ribs to a carving board, cut into individual ribs, and place on a clean platter. Serve ribs with mojo sauce on the side, allowing each guest to spoon sauce over ribs to their taste.