Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Adobo is the secret behind all flavorful Puerto Rican meat dishes. The seasoning is simple, consisting of garlic, oregano, cumin, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s deeply rich and great on meats, particularly as a marinade for roasted meats like chicken and pork.
I like my adobo made fresh with a wooden mortar and pestle like my grandmother Mima taught me when I was a child. Add salt to the garlic to prevent the garlic from flying out of the mortar as you pound it into a paste. You can also wrap your free hand around the opening to keep the garlic down. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can either chop the ingredients or place them in a food processor or blender to a paste consistency.
Note: Check out Adobo Chicken and Pernil for recipes using adobo.
6 – 8 large garlic cloves (about 1/2 a head), peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 sprig fresh oregano, rinsed and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
a pinch of ground black pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1. Place peeled garlic cloves and salt in the mortar and pestle. Pound to a smooth paste. Add oregano, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar and stir to incorporate.
Makes 1/4 cup.