About a month ago I got a grill. It was one of those days that I won't soon forget, and not because I'm that obsessed with the grill (but I am enjoying it often!). You see, I have a Corolla, so transporting most furniture, appliances, and other large objects is out of the question. Luckily my parents visit often and we've transported all kinds of things in Mom's CR-V. In fact, Dad now has a theory that if you push hard enough you can fit anything in there. We weren't so lucky with the grill, though. The grill was too tall to stand up in the back of the CR-V and the permanent extensions on both sides of the body of the grill prevented it from fitting in sideways. The only way that it would fit was to stick the legs in the car and let the body of the grill and both of the extensions hang out of the back. Dad sat in the back seat and held the legs, and I crammed myself in the back of the car around the grill legs and hung halfway out of the car to hold the lid of the grill closed. As we drove out of the Lowe's parking lot, several people pointed and laughed. Luckily we made it home without me or the grill falling out of the car, and I've never been so happy to be home.
Thankfully the trip was worth it, and I really like the grill. I had almost no grilling experience before, so I've been experimenting with various meats and veggies. The last few things that I've made have turned out fantastically, though, so I'm gaining confidence in my skills. This week I decided to try one of my family's favorite marinades, mojo sauce. This sauce comes from Cuba and has a citrus base that is very refreshing and perfect for most meats, particularly chicken and pork. This was the first time I've made it (when I was growing up we primarily used the bottled version available in most grocery stores), and it was incredibly easy and turned out really well.
I also made some grilled eggplant, and it was a nice addition to the meal. Eggplant goes from good to amazing when grilled, and I was so excited to finally find some in the store this week that didn't look like they had been through a war.
Grilled mojo chicken
2 large oranges
1 lemon or lime
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
salt and pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Juice the oranges and lemon/lime and combine juice with olive oil, cilantro, garlic, and salt and pepper. Marinate the chicken breasts in the sauce for at least 6 hours. About 30 minutes before you're ready to cook the chicken, sit it out to come to room temperature. Cook chicken over medium-low heat until done (mine took about 10 minutes per side). Serves 3-6, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Spread the slices out onto foil, sprinkle one side generously with salt, and then flip and salt the other side. Let the slices sit for about an hour and then rinse the eggplant and let drain for a few minutes. Place the eggplant in a ziploc bag with just enough olive oil to coat all of the pieces when tossed around (it won't absorb much if you do the salting step), and then place the slices on a medium-low grill. Sprinkle with desired seasoning (simple salt and pepper work great, but use anything you want) and grill each side about 5 minutes, or until they're almost falling apart. Serves 3-4 per eggplant.