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Cuban Adobo

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Spices & MarinadesAdobo is used in one form or another throughout the Spanish Caribbean. But nowhere does it play as central a role as it does in the cooking of Cuba. There aren’t many Cuban dishes – be they pork, beef, chicken, or seafood – that aren’t marinated in this lively blend of garlic, cumin, and citrus juice prior to frying, sauteing, roasting, baking, or grilling.

In Cuba, the citrus fruit of choice for this recipe would be the sour orange, a fruit that looks like a lumpy orange but tastes more like a lime. Sour oranges (which are similar to Europe’s Seville orange) are sold at Hispanic and West Indian markets. If unavailable, fresh lime juice makes a perfectly delectable Adobo. Indeed, many Cubans use lime juice instead of sour orange juice.

Ingredients
6 to 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaves (optional)
2/3 cup fresh sour orange juice or lime juice

Directions
Place the garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaves in a mortar and pestle and mash to a fine paste. Work in the sour orange juice or lime juice. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a blender and puree. Correct the seasoning, adding salt or cumin to taste.

Store the mixture in a jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week, but it tastes best when used within a day or two.

Makes about 3/4 cup – enough Adobo for 1 1/2 pounds of meat, chicken, or seafood. Adobo also makes an uncommonly succulent roast turkey.

Recipe from the Master of the Grill, Steven Raichlen during a 1996 appearance on Good Morning America
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