Sofrito

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In my mind, every bangin pot of beans starts with a good sofrito. Nothing smells quite like it when it’s sizzling around in some oil, ready to pack some real flavor into whatever it’s combined with. It’s not just beans that sofrito goes in; meat, fish, veggies and rice also get taken up a level when sofrito goes in the pot.

Sofrito is a cooking base that is *essential* to Puerto Rican cuisine; every solid Puerto Rican home cook and chef either has it on hand in their fridge (or OG style…frozen in ice cube trays).

The beauty of sofrito is that you can make a big batch that will last you for tons of meals. You also can’t beat that all it takes to throw your sofrito together is a quick rough chop and blend on the ingredients. Bottom line… it’s definitely worth it if you’re going for that true Puerto Rican flavor. But before you get started on your sofrito, peep the notes below:

1) Freezing your sofrito in ice cube trays makes it easy to pop out a cube or two when you are getting your meal started.

2) Depending on where you live, culantro, cubanelle peppers and aji dulce may be hard to find. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to replace them. If you can’t find these, you can still blend the rest of the ingredients for a nice cooking base…won’t be a true sofrito, though.

3) Sofrito is NOT a sauce on its own; the flavors are super concentrated and must be cooked into a meal.

4) Olive oil in the recipe is simply to give your sofrito a smoother texture when blending.

5) It is *not* recommended that you season your sofrito. No salt necessary, as you should adjust the seasoning of your final dish that the sofrito goes in.

6) Never, EVER use tomato.

That’s it! Wepaaaaaaaaa  :)

INGREDIENTS:
18-25 cloves garlic, peeled (I tend to go overboard with the garlic because too much of it is never enough in my book)

2 Spanish onions, cut into large chunks

4-6 cubanelle peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into chunks

1 large bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped

8-15 ají dulce peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into chunks

4-6 leaves of culantro

1- 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped

1-2 tablespoons of good olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
1) put onions and cubanelle peppers in workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until coarsely chopped.

2) keep the motor running and add the remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth. Transfer to ice cube trays and freeze or store in your refrigerator for immediate use.

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