[CH] Good (hiss gasp drool) festival

Alex Silbajoris (72163.1353@compuserve.com)
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 20:17:23 -0400


I thoroughly enjoyed my second visit to Madison, Indiana for the second
Firey Foods Festival.  I managed to pitch my tent before nightfall up in
Clifty Falls State Park, and made myself at home again in the Ohio River

(I really did start my Jim Neighbors imitation, singing "Back home again,
in Indiana" - and a few people picked up the words from there...)

I knowingly approached THE BREAD  again, but this year Jim blindsided me
with his delicious Ralph's Righteous habanero sauce, which tasted exactly
like a fresh-cut hab.  Beautiful aroma.

After the sauce and the bread, it's fun to try to keep up a civilized
conversation while wondering, "Is anybody noticing the fact that I've been
drooling uncontrollably for the last ten minutes?"

Anyway I had a blast talking with the people, but I should have realized
that Friday night is the hotluck night, and Saturday night is the vendors'
night.  I timidly poked among the stalls on Friday, asking "may I taste
one...?" and now I realize I should have bravely sampled anything at will.

Next year.

On Saturday night I fired up a little box grill on the sidewalk in front of
the Thomas family winery, and cooked chicken leg quarters in a Cuban sauce
called mojo criollo.  It was fun to watch the billowing clouds of
chicken-garlic-pepper-onion smoke go curling over the downtown traffic.  Un
poco de pollo en mojo among the sunlit old bricks of that river town.

Jim requested that I post the mojo recipe, and I had to call my sister in
Miami to get the plain version.  This first recipe is not quite what I had
there on the sidewalk:

Mojo Criollo
(MO-ho cree-YO-yo)

6 - 8 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 meduim onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour orange juice (or else orange and key lime juices)
1/2 cup pure Spanish olive oil

Using a food processor, crush the garlic with salt to make a thick paste. 
In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic paste, onion and juice, and let the
mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.  

Minutes before serving, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium pan
unitl it is very hot.  Add garlic mixturte, stir, serve immeidiately.  

(Note:  Careful!  Do NOT pour the oil into the juice.)

Memories of a Cuban Kitchen
Mary Urrutia Randelman

I made this as a marinade, and stored both halves (juice and oil) together.
 When I added the garlic to the oil, I also added quite a few red peppers
to lend that roasted pepper-oil flavor.  Take off with this as you like.

When I cooked the chicken Saturday night, it had been marinading for about
two hours.

Here's another version - as I look at this, I suppose you could use one of
the Thomas wines for this:

Pineapple-Scotch Bonnet Mojo

1/2 large, ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 cup fruity Chardonnay-style wine
1/4 fresh orange juice
1 scotch bonnet or habanero chile, seeded and minced

Place the pineapple, wine and orange juice in a food processor or blender,
and puree.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the chile.  Keep
refrigerated for up to 2 days or so.  Transfer to a saucepan, stir and warm
before serving.  Makes about 3 cups.

While you're at it, look at this one - Old Sour is an easy and versatile
marinade.  I usually add garlic to this:

Chili Lime Sauce

"This sauce, which accompanies French West Indian stews, is called 'old
sour' in Key West ... Spoon it over grilled vegetables, chicken or seafood,
or use it to perk up soups, stews, or salad dressings.  It keeps for
several months at room temperature, and improves with age."

1 to 3 scotch bonnets or other hot chiles
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
1 tablespoon salt

Stem, wash, seed and thinly slice the peppers.  (For a hotter sauce, leave
the seeds in.)  Combine the lime juice and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk
until the salt is completely dissolved.  Stir in the peppers.

Transfer the sauce to a clean jar or bottle.  Let the mixture "ripen" at
room temperature for at least 24 hours, preferably five days to a week. 
Makes 1 cup.

Finally, a suggested vegetable dish for these sauces:

Yucca con mojo

Get a piece of yucca root in the grocery (looks like a firelog coated in

Peel the yucca, cut it into chunks, and boil as you would cook a potato. 
When it's tender, serve it with these sauces. 

What else ..?  Had a great time down there.  Started Sunday with a hike
down to Trail 2 in Clifty - where a ladder leaves you in the creekbed - and
was up in a small plane before noon.  Missed the CART race in the
afternoon, but at that time I was actually out there on I-71.  Didn't see

Today my legs hurt from climbing out of the Clifty gorge, but if you leave
Clifty Falls without sore legs, you haven't seen the place.

     Alex Silbajoris  72163.1353@compuserve.com
     The moonlight on the Wabash?  Maybe this year.