Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating back to when Egyptian pyramids were built. Garlic is mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud. Garlic was consumed by ancient Greek and Roman soldiers, sailors, and rural classes as a cure-all. The practice of hanging garlic, lemon and red chili at the door to ward off evil is still common today in India. Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help destroy free radicals, or particles that can damage cell membranes and possibly contribute to the aging process. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and could reduce or prevent some of the damage they cause. I think we should all eat our garlic! Are you in?
One of our favorite meals at The Orange Bee is salmon on the grill. My family doesn’t seem to care how I prepare it as long as I do. After several snow and ice days our weather has turned to balmy, breezy and spring like, perfect for throwing a piece of fish on the grill. Luckily, over the weekend we paid a visit to Central Market and adoring husband found the seafood counter. All three of us were smiling with the prospect of salmon for dinner.
I like to keep it simple when preparing fish. I also prefer a whole piece of salmon which I cut into individual servings after it is cooked. On this night I felt a little Latin influence would be nice so I elected for a “mojo de ajo” sauce for el pescado. If you are not a fan of garlic this dish will not be pleasing to you. Mojo de ajo is simply garlic sauce. I will warn you it is addicting and works equally well with pork, chicken or any seafood.
I begin by marinating the fish for about thirty minutes then grilling until it flakes easily. The sauce is prepared while the fish is marinating. Many recipes call for turning the fish after 6-8 minutes, however I do not flip my fish when grilling. I lay it on a grill, sprayed with Pam, skin side down and grill over medium heat until done. I test the fish by flaking and by touch and appearance. Adoring husband does not like fish that is not thoroughly cooked, not overdone but cooked through. I can do that! Here is my disclaimer: the smell of garlic will permeate your kitchen and you but remember, “garlic is good for you”. Oh! Surely you know that salmon also has plenty of health benefits, omega 3’s, protein and good fats. So dive in and get healthy while enjoying a delicious meal.
Salmon Mojo de Ajo
1 Salmon filet
3/4 cup Lime juice, divided by 1/2 & 1/4 cup
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Green Onion, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/2 tbsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Mix 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, green onion and 4 cloves of the garlic. Stir well and pour over fish, allow to marinate about 30 minutes.
Meantime prepare the “Mojo sauce”. Whisk together olive oil, remaining lime juice, remaining cilantro, remaining garlic, orange peel, oregano, cumin and salt & pepper. Set aside.
Prepare grill. Remove fish from marinade and place on grill. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and a little oregano. Cook until fish is cooked through. Remove fish, cut into serving sizes, place on plates and spoon sauce over fish. Serve with extra lime slices on the side.