Canarian Mojo Picón

In the Canary Islands, this is the secret sauce.

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Picón peppers are medium-hot, thin-fleshed chiles grown all over the Canary Islands. If you can’t track them down, use red jalapeños or Fresno chiles instead.

Featured in: The 2020 Saveur 100: 31-40

Equipment

Canarian Mojo Picón Canarian Mojo Picón
In the Canary Islands, savory, oil-based sauces known as "mojos" are an essential part of the cuisine. This fiery version, made from fresh and dried red chiles, is king.
Yield: makes About 1 cup
Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 picón peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 dried cayenne chile, or ¼-½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 7 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 12 tsp. sweet smoked Spanish paprik
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sunflower oil

Instructions

  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a small food processor, grind the picón peppers, cayenne chile, garlic, salt, and cumin to a fine paste. Add the paprika, and continue grinding until smooth and integrated. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the vinegar, then drizzle in the oil, a little at a time, as you blend the sauce. Season to taste with additional salt, then transfer the sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.