“Perfect First Date” Mojito Lamb

Posted on: August 23rd, 2010 by Carla Johnson 5 Comments

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum,

for how could we do without sugar and rum?”

~  William Cowper

by Heather Jurczyk

We generally don’t tell this story when people ask how we met. Most of the time people give us these crazy blank stares of “you did what? Seriously?” We stick to met through friends. Where friendsis basically the internet and metis pretty much we Twittered each other to death. We had just too much in common. Both food bloggers? Check. Both computer geeks? Check. Both made a silly decision to bake our way thru a virtual bread bible? Checkity check check. So when I casually mentioned that I was moving back home to the Midwest and driving myself thousands of miles across the US, he simply said “Want company?”

And in truth, that was how we MET met. Face to face. On the roof of an airport parking garage in the middle of Nowhere, New Mexico. We must have thought “Hey we don’t really know each other – why not drive along together in a cramped vehicle for umpteen million hours and abuse our bodies with energy drinks and beef jerky and chex mix and cheddarwursts and gummie bears because THAT my friends, is the PERFECT idea for a first date!”

Actually, it was what happened afterwards that made it all worth while. Like, “kitchen magic”. We ate. Oh did we eat. And we cooked. And grilled. And baked, smoked, roasted, fried, sautéed and more. I cooked for him. And he cooked for me. We cooked together and nearly killed each other. But somewhere between “I THINKI know HOWto chop an ONION!” and “No kidding that’s BACON? I thought it was a puppy…” the smoke from the kitchen fire cleared and we realized just how damn good we were together.

– Follow Heather and Jeff’s culinary adventures on their blog http://hecooksshecooks.com/ –

Mojito Lamb

(also works GREAT with chicken)


  • 5 lb. Leg of lamb

  • 3/4 cup light rum

  • 3/4 cup fresh mint (Spearmint)

  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 2 habanero peppers

  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cumin

  • 1/2 t salt

  • 1/2 t pepper

  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.

2. Pour over lamb and allow it to marinade for 24 hours, turning occasionally. (8 hours or less is fine for chicken…)

3. Grill until until done basting occasionally with the marinade. (A 5 lb. Leg of lamb generally takes about 2 hours) your meat thermometer will read 145° for medium rare (preferred), and 160° for medium to medium well.

Heather and Jeff serve it with Lemon Onion Israeli Couscous and Touch o’ Mint Tzatziki.

Lemon Onion Israeli Couscous

1 C Israeli Couscous
2 T Olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into eighths
2 C chicken broth or water
1 T fresh chopped parsley
juice of one lemon
1 t red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Toast couscous in live oil for about 5 minutes – until it is golden.

Add in the onions and saute’ till just translucent.

Add broth/water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer till almost all the broth is gone and the couscous is tender. About 10 minutes or so.

Add parsley, pepper flakes, lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Touch o’ Mint Tzatziki

1 C Plain Greek yogurt, drained.
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, grated and drained.
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 T white wine vinegar
Squeeze of half a lime
1 T fresh dill
1 t fresh chopped mint
1 t salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the olive oil. Refrigerate till ready to serve. Immediately before serving, add 1-2 T of olive oil and mix to blend well.

The Mojito.

By George Sinclair

People who make Mojitos are forever using phrases such as “traditional recipe”,
“classic recipe”, and whatever weasel word comes to hand at that particular
moment. I see no shame in proclaiming ones own interpretation of a classic
recipe as being the best, this is a subjective term after all; For every one
person you find who likes a drink a particular way, you will find another who
thinks the opposite. Thats just how things are.

Historically the Mojito seems to have popped up in Cuba during the late 1920s;
Quite how is not known; Was it a native concoction? or was it a re-
interpretation of a Mint Julep, created by American bartenders fleeing to Cuba
from the «evils» of prohibition (1920-1933).

The earliest citation/ recipe for the Mojito is from 1931, and the drink was entitled the “Cuban Mojo”; With “Mojo” meaning soul, and “Mojito” meaning “Little Soul”.

“Cuban Cookery, including Cuban Drinks”, by De Baralt (Blanche Z.), 1931

RUM COCKTAIL (Cuban mojo)

In medium size glass put :

  • One teaspoonful sugar
    * Juice and rind of a green lime
    * Sprig of mint
    * One jigger Bacardi Rum
    * Several pieces of ice
    * Fill glass with soda water.
    * Serve with a long spoon.

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5 Responses

  1. Jen Hong says:

    Love this story! It sounds similar to how I met my partner: only it was a dating site, and we loved the same band (not food), and we also drove x-country (but not on our first date).

  2. Jen, I like that you’re full of surprises. I just checked out your blog. So quirky. So interesting.

    My girl is still missing her Vancouver “sisters and brothers.” Such a wonderful, wonderful connection.

  3. YUMMY! Two great tastes that go great together. What can be better? Nada.

  4. Elle says:

    Looks and sounds incredible! And the story is the icing on the cake. Or the marinade on the lamb?

  5. Shannon says:

    Great story, great recipe by 2 of my favorite people!

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