Tag Archives: olive oil

Yucca con Mojo Cubano

4 May

The first Mojo I learned about was this – the Cuban Mojo you eat with yucca or with black beans and rice.  The now famous drink in the diminutive, Mojito, has been an acquired taste in the last few years…  This Cuban Mojo over Yucca is a staple at ANY and EVERY Cuban household, and something my family in Miami always makes for me, especially now that I am vegetarian.

Cuban Mojo is delicious – the best “sauce” to pour over anything.  To me, it’s just glorious.  It’s the only decent accompaniment to eat with boiled yucca.  Once you learn how to make it, I am sure it will find its way pairing a lot more than just yucca.  I am almost sure this mojo is the culprit of why I need to squirt lemon juice on arroz moro (black beans and rice).

Try it today… you’ll be a convert immediately!!!



1 yucca root, peeled and cut and middle thread removed or a few pieces of frozen yucca
½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
½ onion, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
The juice of 1 lime or limón criollo
Salt to taste, for the boiling water and for the mojo
  1. In a medium pot with water, add the yucca root pieces and salt and bring to a boil.  Salt the water as if you were boiling pasta.  Water should only barely cover the yucca.  I am lazy, so I buy sometimes the frozen yucca kind.  It works very well and it always turns out soft when boiled.  Yucca can have a tendency to turn out hard; it’s a crap-shoot.  
  2. While the yucca boils away, in a small saucepan over low heat add the olive oil, the onion and the garlic.  Let the onions and garlic soften and simmer slowly in the oil.  Add salt to taste.  I tend to season well, about ½ tbs, but I have to be honest, I do not measure.
  3. When the onions are softened, the garlic is cooked, but none have gotten any color, turn off the heat and add the juice of the lemon.  The oil will cloud a bit, but that’s the measure of a true mojo… lemony tangy goodness with the punch of the garlic and onion… YUMMM!!!
  4. When the yucca is fork tender, drain and serve with spoonfuls of mojo over it.


This is the perfect side dish with any Cuban dish… I particularly like it with black beans and rice.   And that’s an upcoming lesson.

The Best Spanish Olive Oil

5 Feb

This past Summer I spent a little over 2 weeks in Spain.  I visited Madrid, Pamplona, Zaragoza, San Sebastian, Barcelona, among others.  Near Barcelona, we visited this little town called Villafranca del Penedés.  It was a must we visited this town, as my friend Walter’s family is originally from there.  The proof – there was a street named after him… it was amazing.


But what I never thought I would find in Villafranca was one of the best extra virgin olive oils I have ever tasted.  As part of a tour to Villafranca and Montserrat, we visited the Bodegas Torres.  I was afraid this was going to be one of those tourist traps… but the local winery, well known for their Sangre de Toro wine and one of my dad’s favorite red wines, as a real surprising treat.   Besides the winery, Bodegas Torres has a gastronomy division named Torre Real which, among other things, makes olive oil made from Arbequina olives.  According to information I have read since then… Arbequina olives are the “crème de la crème” as Spanish olives is concerned.

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I brought back a bottle of this wonderful olive oil… and now, no other olive oil stands next to it.  I ration it so that I can enjoy it as long as I can…


To me, it’s the perfect olive oil to dress a salad, to dip great crusty bread or to drizzle over a soup or pasta as a finishing touch.  And the most amazing thing – this olive oil only cost me 5 Euros.  Not bad for such high quality.  They also make white and red wine vinegars.  I have not tried the vinegar yet – I have like 7 open vinegar bottles, so I would like to decrease that inventory before I open a new now.

I good friend from high school lives in Barcelona now and I have asked her to please bring me 3-4 bottles of the Arbequina olive oil when she comes to Puerto Rico in the next few weeks.  If you have access to this wonderful product, I urge you to try it.

Do you have any favorite olive oil?? Tell me all about it.

Mustard Vinaigrette

11 Jan

It’s the time of New Year resolutions… another one of mine – eat more salads at home.

I tend to eat big salads when I eat out or a side salad when I feel what I am eating is not that healthy – like a pizza. I try to add more nutrition by accompanying whatever I am having with a salad. But at home, sometimes I get lazy. But I have noticed that when I am hooked to the taste of an awesome dressing, I look forward to eating a salad at home everyday.

This is my new vice – Mustard Vinaigrette. Easy, tasty, and goes well with any greens and vegetables you might fancy in your salad. I did this to accompany my not-so-healthy veggie “chicken” nuggets.

I make this by “eye-balling” the ingredients… so bear with me here on the quantities.



1 tbs Dijon or Grain Mustard
1 tbs Apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Extra-virgin Olive oil
  1. In the same bowl you’ll prepare your salad, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  2. Then, pour olive oil slowly while whisking it in, until you get a nice emulsified dressing mixture.
  3. Taste to adjust any seasonings.
  4.  Add any greens and vegetables you crave on your salad.

I am sure you could use this vinaigrette to season grilled vegetables – like portobello mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc.


Pesto 101

25 Dec

This is my recipe for pesto… my mom loves pesto and every time I have too much basil that might go bad, I do a batch.  It’s great on it’s own with pasta, as a condiment, as an ingredient for a salad dressing or to add to a recipe where you would like some fresh basil flavor.



2 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups basil leaves, strip away the stems
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix  everything in a food processor. 
  2. Add more olive oil if the mixture seems a bit dry.

Store in a jar in the fridge or you can freeze it in an ice tray for individual servings .

Garlic Parsley Breadsticks

22 Dec

This is a great appetizer or accompaniment to any Italian dinner. 



1/2 package of refrigerated whole-wheat bread-stick dough mix
1/4 cup of parsley, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix in a small bowl the parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Let it sit on top of the counter to marinate for about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Take the bread-sticks dough and spread the garlic parsley mixture on one side.
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  6. Twist the individual bread-sticks and place next to each other in a baking sheet.
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  8. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the bread-sticks are golden brown.
  9. Serve warm.

You can definitely use this same garlic parsley mixture to make regular garlic bread… just spread it on a cut baguette and bake in the oven until crunchy.

My apologies… the bread-sticks smelled so good, I forgot to take a photo of them.

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