Our friend Richard over at REMCooks has been posting about mojo de ajo (garlic salsa) for awhile, and I’ve always thought it sounded delicious. Yesterday, we realized that we had more rockfish from Otolith Sustainable Seafood, and it seemed a perfect opportunity to try Richard’s tacos de pescado al mojo de ajo.
Making the mojo de ajo was time consuming, but rewarding. We bought 2 giant garlic bulbs from Highland Orchards at the Fitler Square Farmers’ Market, but it turned out I only needed 1 bulb plus a few more cloves from the other in order to produce the 3/4 cup chopped garlic the recipe requires. I ended up needing to let this simmer in 1 cup of olive oil at very low heat for much longer than the recipe calls for (45-50 minutes), through no fault of the recipe but because getting the temperature exactly right on our electric stove was frustrating. After well over an hour, though, I prevailed, with some nice caramely slow cooked garlic. I added 4 minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce per the recipe — mmm, garlic and chipotle, what a fantastic combination.
I strained off some of the infused oil and used it to fry up the rockfish, which I had cut into bite-sized cubes. The fish only needed about 4 minutes to cook in the infused oil.
When we were ready, I used a slotted spoon to scoop up just the garlic and chipotle “salsa” from the oil, and this went on top of the fish. We spooned the fish & mojo de ajo mixture onto corn tortillas, and topped the tacos with some homemade pico de gallo, made with some of the first tomatoes of the season from Hands on the Earth Orchard via Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market.
A few weeks later, we decided to try the recipe again, but this time with Otolith’s sidestripe shrimp (also via the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market). The mojo de ajo was much easier to make the second time around, and I’d say the shrimp did an even better job than the fish of really absorbing the mojo de ajo flavor.
We can’t wait to make this again and again. The leftover infused garlic-chile oil is great for adding to veggies, rice, stir-fry, etc. Enjoy!