The Ultimate Mojo de Ajo (Garlic Sauce)
In Mexico, mojo de ajo refers to a sauce made by frying chopped garlic in olive oil that is usually served over seafood. I found the following superb version used as a salsa in a taquería in Saltillo. The addtion of sundried tomatos adds a terrific burst of sunshine, and the onion and dried cilantro contribute significantly to its excellence. It is terrific over any broiled or fried seafood, and is wonderful over broiled meat and poultry. It is also delicious on everything from pizza to bruschetta and a few tablespoons will turn cooked pasta into a delight. It is also delicious in omeletes and on top of fried eggs, or in its original form as a simple addition to tacos.
3 chiles de árbol, seeds removed, or substitute 1 medium sized canned chipotle chile, seeded
4 sun-dried tomatoes (not the kind packed in oil), very finely chopped
¼ cup garlic chopped into medium-sized pieces (around 1/8 inch or slightly larger)
¼ cup white onion, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons dried, minced cilantro
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1. Make the sauce. Finely mince whichever chile(s) you are using and place it (them) in a small saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro and lime juice. Turn the heat to medium low and heat until the oil just begins to bubble. Adjust the heat so that the mixture cooks at the barest possible simmer, one where there are just a few bubbles. Cook until the garlic is very soft, but barely beginning to brown, 30 – 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and simmer an additional ten minutes or until the garlic just begins to take on a golden hue (unless you prefer the stronger taste of browned garlic).