20 February, 2010
Many people have heard of "sofrito," a latin flavor base used in various dishes the same way the French use mirapoix and the Italians use "soffritto" (yep - pronounced the same in Spanish and Italian). I've had many requests for my family recipe, and so without further ado:
2 bunches cilantro
2 green bell peppers
2 brown onions
1 garlic head
4-5 empty glass jars w/lids (approximately the size of small jelly jars)
After washing the cilantro and chopping off stems, place into a large food processor or blender, and puree. Clean out the seeds from the bell peppers and quarter the onions, adding both to the puree. Peel one entire garlic head and add to the puree, blending until all four ingredients are liquified. Pour the sofrito into the jars and freeze all but one, which will stay refrigerated. It will be a vibrant green color (just like Kryptonite!) and smell like rich flavor in a jar - which is exactly what it is. The frozen sofrito will keep in your freezer for up to a year, and the refrigerated jar will last up to two months.
To incorporate sofrito into our dish, fry between 3-4 tablespoons (depending on the size of your dish) into about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. This will open up the flavors of the sofrito. Then add 1 to 2 small cans of tomato sauce to the fried sofrito and blend over medium heat. Now your sofrito is ready to be added to your dish. It works best in tomato based or stew dishes such as Pollo Guisado, beans or chili.
Prepare to watch your dining guests fall to the power of the sofrito. May the force be with you! Oh wait, now I'm confusing futuristic space movies...