Food & Drink Magazine

Puerto Rican Sofrito

By Jannese Torres @delishdlites
Puerto Rican Sofrito

A Puerto Rican without sofrito is like a day without sunshine. Ok, maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic, but there's no denying the moment of panic that strikes me whenever my sofrito stash is running low. Luckily, Puerto Rican sofrito is SO EASY to make, that 10 minutes of your time will yield you weeks, if not months, of flavor. Akin to the mirepoix of French cookery, sofrito is the basis for many dishes in various Caribbean cultures, including stews, soups, rice and bean dishes. Essentially, we use it for anything that's cooked in some sort of liquid. There's some debate about what is and isn't part of sofrito, and that answer will change depending on what country you're referring to. In Puerto Rico, we call it "recaito". The pungent herb recao (AKA culantro) and ajíes dulces (sweet chili peppers) are the contributing flavor profiles to recao. These ingredients can usually be found in Asian or Latin supermarkets. If you can't find these 2 ingredients, substitute with cilantro and cubanelle peppers, respectively.

Puerto Rican Sofrito

Dominican sofrito, called sazón in that country, uses vinegar for a flavor punch and annatto for color. Cuban sofrito employs tomatoes and red bell peppers to sweeten it up and add color, as well as diced ham. So just to be clear, we're making recaito!

Ingredients
Makes 1 quart
1 green bell pepper
1/2 lb ajíes dulces, stemmed and deseeded
1 bunch recao (culantro)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
10 large garlic cloves, peeled

Directions

Wash and prepare all the ingredients for the food processor (or blender). For the peppers, this means de-stemming and de-seeding them. Chop the onion into chunks, and peel the garlic cloves.

Puerto Rican Sofrito

Add everything into the food processor (or blender). If using a blender, you may have to add water to get the veggies to blend. You can strain the liquid after blending so that the sofrito doesn't end up with too much liquid.

Puerto Rican Sofrito

Blend until everything is finely pureed.

Puerto Rican Sofrito
Puerto Rican Sofrito

Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a storage container. If storing long term, pour the sofrito into small 2 - 3oz. bathroom cups or ice cube trays and freeze the sofrito. Then just pull out a cup/cube whenever you need it for a recipe.

Puerto Rican Sofrito
Puerto Rican Sofrito

Use a few tablespoons in your next rice, beans, stew or soup recipe! Or try some of these recipes from Delish D'Lites, all featuring sofrito.

Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken & Rice) Guilt Free Puerto Rican Corned Beef (Carne Bif) Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas) Whole Wheat Empanadas with Turkey Picadillo Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
Puerto Rican Sofrito
Puerto Rican Sofrito

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