One warning about roasting a whole pig, brisket, or just about anything in La Caja China….for the last forty-five minutes of cook time, there’s an ever-expanding cloud of mouth-watering aroma outside the box. This will gather friends, family, and neighbors you’ve never met, in seagull-like crowds to your yard.
The best way to deal with these culinary paparazzi, is to toss the grill racks over the coals and prepare a few simple, tasty appetizers.
One of my favorites is bacon-wrapped mojo shrimp. Simple to prepare, you can assemble dozens of these skewered treats between the time you fire up the roaster, barbecue, or gas grill, and the time the aroma of yummy pig goodness begins wafting through your neighborhood.
2 lbs sliced bacon
64 raw prawns, tail off
2 C Traditional Cuban Mojo (see below)
¼ C Adobo Criollo Spice
32 skewers, soaked (if wooden)
Rinse raw prawns and drain. In a large bowl, toss prawns and Adobo Criollo spices.
NOTE: prawns MUST be raw, please never, never, never make this recipe with pre-cooked prawns...it will suck.
Wrap each prawn in ½ slice of bacon, and thread two wraps into each skewer, touching, and with skewer through both the bacon and the shrimp.
Once coals have turned completely white, but before adding unlit charcoal, lay skewers on grill, with only the meat over the coals.
Grill 3-5 minutes, until bacon is cooked, flip, and cook 2-3 more minutes.
Watch carefully to make sure that neither the bacon, or the skewers (if wood) are burning.
Remove from grill and let rest on a paper-towel covered platters 2-3 minutes before serving.
I found some metal “double skewers” at Walmart for about .50 each, that are PERFECT. They look like giant tuning forks, and are ideal for this type of grilling.
Traditional Cuban Mojo
Recipe by Roberto Guerra, Owner - La Caja China
This classic Cuban seasoning sauce makes a flavorful marinade for meats and poultry. Traditionally this is made with sour oranges, cumin, lots of garlic.
With larger cuts (pork shoulder, or whole pig & lamb) it can be injected into the meat 12-24 hours before cooking.
1 C sour orange juice
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs bay leaves
1 garlic bulb
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp salt
4 oz of water
Peel and mash the garlic cloves. Mix all the ingredients and let it sit for a minimum of one hour.
For a great pork shoulder marinade:
Add the above recipe to 1 ½ gallons of water, and 13 oz. of table salt.
Blend all ingredients and let it sit for a minimum of one hour, strain and inject, or place meat in a cooler and pour marinade to cover overnight.
You can replace the sour orange juice with the following mix: 6 oz. orange juice, 2 oz. lemon juice.
Perry P. Perkins
“La Caja China Cooking”
“La Caja China World”
"MEAT FIRE GOOD"