There is a restaurant on a side street off El Malecón in Havana, Cuba that serves the most incredible Mojito to be enjoyed at a sidewalk table while watching pedestrians stroll toward the water.
It is this Mojito that inspired this sauce that combines the ingredients (mint, rum, and lime) of the Mojito, with the Cuban Sofrito which is a base made from green pepper, onion, garlic, oregano and black pepper. Switching out the Mojito’s light rum for dark rum increases the intensity of the dish.
Malecón Finishing Sauce provides the perfect compliment to poultry and pork as well as sweet potatoes. For an interesting flavor combination, strain then reduce in half and drizzle over pineapple. It provides both marinade and finishing sauce for Henry James’ Rum Runner Chicken.
A note on the Blood Oranges used in this sauce. Blood orange juice, less sweet than a navel orange, provides a citric flavor without causing the sauce to turn overly sweet. A regular orange may be substituted if you must, but it is worth the effort to locate blood oranges to achieve a perfect balance of sweet and savory.
1/2 c roasted garlic infused olive oil (if you use plain olive oil increase garlic to 3 cloves)
2 garlic cloves (add 1 additional if not using Roasted Garlic Oil), minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¼ c finely chopped onion
2 t ground cumin
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t kosher salt
2 t chopped fresh oregano
1/4 c dark honey (if using regular orange juice, reduce by 1 tablespoon)
½ c freshly squeezed blood orange juice
¼ c freshly squeezed lime juice
zest from 2 limes
¼ c dark rum, such as Meyers’s Dark Rum
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 T chopped fresh mint
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic, bell pepper, and onion in the olive oil. Add the cumin, black pepper, salt and oregano. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes.
In a small sauce pan, add honey, orange juice, lime juice and lime zest. Whisk to combine. Remove pan from heat. Add the rum, whisking to combine. Return to medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from heat. Pour into bowl and set aside to cool. If using as a finishing sauce, simmer an additional 5-7 minutes to reduce by half.
Add the pepper mix to the saucepan. Stir to combine. When cooled, add the the mint. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week.