Citrus Favorites from the Yucatan

The bright flavors, vivid colors, and nutrients packed in citrus fruits are perfect for uplifting us this time of year! I’m currently enjoying the sun and citrus in Mexico as the renovations at my new cooking school progress. Nonetheless, I can’t help but be tempted and inspired by the beautiful citrus posts coming from Healthy Living’s Instagram and I wanted to share some of my favorite Yucatan recipes that feature these wonderful fruits.

For the two simple sauce recipes I am sharing, they call for the juice of Seville or sour oranges. These are difficult to source in Vermont, and are never available year-round, so I have created a substitute that uses the juices of other, easier to find, citrus fruits. As I said, these sauces are ridiculously simple and you’ll find the freshest produce perfect for the task right at Healthy Living of course!

Try pairing the Salsa Habanero with chicken or steak tacos. I can always count on Healthy Living for excellent cuts of meat, and a reliable source for locally made corn tortillas. Garnish with some avocado, maybe some cortija cheese or your favorite cheddar. For the Mojo de Ajo you simply must have it with shrimp or salmon – absolutely superb. As always, experiment and make these sauces a new addition to one of your family’s favorite meals. They are so versatile!

Seville or sour orange juice substitute

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup freshly squeezed sweet orange juice
½ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (preferably not pink)

Mix the juices together and strain into a nonreactive container, such as glass, or ice cube trays to freeze.

Salsa Habanero

5 habaneros
3 cloves unpeeled garlic
½ cup sour orange substitute
Salt to taste

Char chiles and garlic in dry cast-iron pan until blackened all over, set aside. Wearing gloves, peel chiles; discard stems. Peel garlic cloves. Pulse chiles, garlic, juice, and salt in a blender until a coarse purée forms or use mortar and pestle.

Mojo de Ajo

1 head roasted garlic
5 cloves, minced
Sea salt
½ cup sour orange substitute
½ cup olive oil

Mix together and store in the refrigerator up to one week.


By Healthy Living Taste Maker Courtney Contos, of Chef Contos Kitchen and Store
65 Falls Rd., Shelburne, VT 05482
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