In Puerto Rico, we don’t eat sofrito. We cook with it. I use it when I’m going to cook arroz con gandules (rice with chick peas) or ‘red rice’. I also use it when I’m going to make pollo guisa’o (stewed chicken) or chuleta guisa’ (stewed porkchop). I also use it when I’m going to make habichuelas (beans). Sofrito is a sort of base that you use when you cook. There are lots of different versions (including from different countries) but in Puerto Rico the main ingredients are recao, aji dulce, and peppers (and some people prefer using more red peppers while others prefer using more green peppers). This makes quite a bit which is actually a good thing. Although it is fairly easy to make, you always end up with that recao smell on your hands (which personally, I don’t mind – anytime I’m going to eat something and I smell recao it just lets me know it’s going to be yummy). After I make a batch of sofrito, I scoop some into a medium container that I keep in the refrigerator and the rest into a container that I keep in the freezer. Once I run out of the sofrito in the fridge, I add some from the freezer container for next time.
Running low on sofrito! Time to make some more.
- 3 large yellow onions
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 head of garlic
- 6 large recao leaves (culantro)
- 7 ajies dulces (sweet peppers)
- 1/2 C of olive oil
- No specific amount of servings as this will make a batch for you to use on different occasions.
- 0 – no cooking required
- 10-15 minutes
- Peel off the onions and cut into quarters. Place in a bowl.
- Remove the seeds from the green and red peppers. Wash the peppers and cut into quarters. Place in a bowl.
- Separate each clove from the head of garlic. Peel and smash each clove and place with the onions.
- Remove the seeds from the ajies dulces (sweet peppers) and wash the ajies (peppers). Place them in the bowl with the other peppers.
- Wash the recao (culantro).
- Pour the olive oil in the blender.
- Place the ingredients (I like to make alternate layers from each bowl and the recao) in the blender. Run your blender until it is a uniform color.
- Place about 2 or 3 cups in glass container and store in your refrigerator. The rest you can place in a freezer-safe container and store in your freezer.
KitchenAid Mixer – Link Monetized by VigLink
If you’ve tried sofrito before, I would love to know how you use it. And if you use store-bought, why not give homemade a try and see if you prefer it?