Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You can't cook Puerto Rican without Sofrito!



Having been married to Carlos for more than 35 years I have learned to cook mostly Puerto Rican style. The basis of almost all Puerto Rican dishes is sofrito. Sofrito is a versatile and aromatic mixture of herbs and vegetables used as the foundation for many Puerto Rican and Caribbean dishes. The commercial jarred or frozen sofrito are not very tasty so I make my own.
It’s easy to make and can be used in many recipes. It keeps well when you freeze it. I use it in beans as well as soup and stews. It makes my shredded pork, chicken or beef very tasty.

Puerto Rican Sofrito

3 bunches of cilantro
1 package of culantro (if available, also known as chaden beni)
2 large onions
2 green bell peppers
olive oil
black pepper to taste
Diced garlic

In a food processor put in 1 and ½ of the cilantro bunch and ½ of the culantro package. Add about ½ cup olive oil, 1 green pepper cut in strips and one large onion cut in pieces. Add about 3 heaping tablespoons of garlic and ½ tsp of black pepper. Turn on food processor and let mix until it is a thick liquid. If it is not blending well try adding more olive oil. This should be a rich green paste. I spoon my mixture into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Repeat the process for the second batch. The next day I put in freezer bags, label and date it. For a typical pot of beans I use 3 cubes, for arroz con pollo I use 4-5 cubes.



4 comments:

  1. My mother in law used to make this, but sadly I'm resorting to Goya these days. It's better than nothing. Culantro is hard to find, even in my diverse city. I hope Merida stocks it. It culantro used in Mexican cooking?

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    1. Culantro can be used in cooking in place of cilantro. It is a much stronger flavor so you do need to use less!I did not see either sofrito or sazon in any of the Merida markets/supermarkets, so plan accordingly. Someday when we are in Merida at the same time we can make it together as all the basic ingredients to make it are available!

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  2. Pat, can you get culantro in Merida?

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    Replies
    1. Culantro as well as cilantro is used in many mexican dishes too. I will check when I am in Merida in August and let you know if I find it. In December I will need to make some sofrito as we will be there more than a month and we will need to find all the ingredients!

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