Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mojo Sauce

by L and guests

For this post, we took it up a notch. In an unprecedented move, we bring you... a sauce one of your fearless bloggers personally made!

M lovingly whipped up a sauce for us, using peppers almost as lovingly grown by lab member J and roasted red peppers. 


  • Handful of Thai chilis
  • Garlic
  • White vinegar
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • Cayenne pepper
  1. Cut the top off of a head of garlic to expose each clove.  
  2. Place in foil with chilis and douse in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  
  3. Then cover the bell peppers in oil, salt, and pepper, but do not wrap in foil. 
  4. Cook for 1hr in the oven @ 350 degrees F.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Peel and seed the bell peppers, then place in a food processor.
  7. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the skin into the food processor and add the chilis after removing their stems.
  8. Add a teaspoon of Cayenne powder.
  9. As the processor is running, slowly add several tablespoons of vinegar.

This is the most effort M has ever put into one of our blog posts. He has also stepped up the competition amongst lab members to see who can make the best home-brewed hot sauce.

Name: Mojo sauce
Manufacturer: Homemade by M
Chili pepper: Piri Piri (Capsicum frutescens) and Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
Country of origin: USA
Rating: 9.5!!!!!

This was universally regarded by the regular lunch crew as the best sauce we've had yet, which suggests that homemade sauces might have advantages. Because we, the bloggers, are obviously biased, we enlisted our coworkers for opinions, in addition to noting that this was the fastest sauce to vanish from the kitchen fridge. Enjoy these (slightly edited for length) opinions.

- reviewer (Mk) - a known heat pansy, Irish tongue, but super sensitive nose with an appreciation for aroma

- dish - an otherwise unspiced or salsa'd chicken burrito bowl.  Lettuce, black beans, brown rice, plain corn, and mild guacamole

- look and feel -  a smooth, thick and happy autumnal hue with clear interspersion of robust spices dancing through the tomato paste like sauce.  An intoxicating and rich smell, with complex layers of garlic, onion, and peppers.   Even cold, smells warm and like its bubbling on the stove and filling the house with peppery ambiance.  Its an alluring anticipatory sort of scent.

- taste.  Reviewer unwisely chose a smallish blob of the viscous concoction to start, mixed in with burrito bowl, and suffered the consequences of a mouth full of raging fire ants.  Pain however did not linger, and was soon dissipated.   MoJo is best enjoyed (by this tongue) with just the tines of the fork dipped into the sauce, and then entree onto fork.   Diner is rewarded with no pain, and an almost sweet and fruity earthiness that the MoJo imparted onto the salad.  Corn in salad seemed also way sweeter when paired with sauce drops.

- Experience - oddly addictive, reviewer, normally a wellpaced and leisurely diner, crammed bite after bite of fork tine dipped entree into mouth to enjoy the layered flavours.   Upon completion of dining, mild tingling on tongue and inside cheeks, more of a full blown vibration on inner lips, not painful, and mouth has a fruity after taste.

Final Review - When used with caution, or as to-taste for the diner, this is a smashing offering.   Robust and earthy, it feels crafted with care and depth.  Smooth and versatile, it might make a great bisque with a gallon of creme added, a fine pairing for grilling as well.


Secondary Review-   (B)

- reviewer - spoonful sample, no entree or other distractions

- look and feel - nice colour chipolte sensibility, smooth almost creamy texture with a smattering of spices.

- taste - first thing that hits you is roasted red pepper flavouring, a sweet and warm sensation quickly followed by bite of onion and garlic.  A warm and down to earth flavour, smooth on the palette.  A slight tingling on surface of tongue and back of throat.   Flavor enhances experience more than peppers, a mild hot sauce if to be categorized it.

Final Review- a tasty red pepper based hot sauce that would go well when paired with strong grilled fish such as tunasteak salmon fillets, swordfish or mahi mahi.  Or any sort of hispanic grilled meat, steak, pork, etc.

Wait!  reviewer went in for a second taste!  Slathering the MoJo all over honey nut cheerios!   Gave reviewer hiccups, he ate very fast.   Made his nose run.  No change in review from just a spoonful.

note:  about 1 tablespoon of whole milk removes all tingling sensation from tongue.


Tertiary Review (J2)

- spoonful, not with any entree.

- Spiciness overshadows flavour, the sensation of tingle or burn causes underlying flavours to be lost.  Several tastes in it gets better, and you can appreciate the subtle undertones.

- Red pepper under tones taste was especially well appreciated.  It was easy on the eyes.  The orange colour and black specks were visually appealing.   Minimal, but some nose running.

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