I bet you’re tired of this… Sofrito this, sofrito that… Taking photos… Making dishes with it… How many times is this chick gonna make mention of this so-called sofrito?
Where’s the recipe?
Ok, ok – I get it…
Peeps…It’s time to roll like a Latina.
There are 3 items you will find in almost every Latino kitchen, no matter where you go.
1) A mortar and pestle made out of wood – To grind our aromatics into a paste. Or to throw the pestle at someone who annoys us…
2) Adobo – Cause salt just ain’t enough- we need seasonings in that bad boy.
3) Sofrito – The equivalent to top shelf liquor in Latino households. Ok – Maybe not top shelf liquor…
Sofrito, or sazon as we Dominicans call it, is a savory sauce made of vegetables and herbs; primarily peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, culantro and oregano.
It is either processed or blended until the veggies are unrecognizable; a sea of green with flecks of red and white.
We either freeze or store it in the refrigerator until we’re ready to whip it out. From beans, to meats, to stews, to rice; eve-ry-thang gets a shot of Sofrito. Sofrito is at the base of all Dominican dishes. Mine are no exception.
Sofrito is our Latin flair, our heat. Forget Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez – Sofrito is THE Original Latin Explosion. Its herbal notes, along with onions and garlic add zip to everything that comes out of our kitchens. Bon-bon shake, optional. Oh, screw it – Bon-Bon shake mandatory.
I went there.
No Latino meal makes it to the table without Sofrito – And no two people can make it the same. What defines the personal style of a Latina’s cooking is her sazon. It’s our unique stamp. It’s the mambo that’s spooned in a pot with the flick of a wrist, a switch from her hip and a magic that makes it all happen.
You need to get on this. Roll like a Latina.
Recipe: Roll Like A Latina Sofrito
Source: An M.O.B. production. Inspired by every Dominican I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Yield: About a quart and a half
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 Italian pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 small bunch of culantro leaves, chopped
- 9-10 cloves of garlic, whole
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, cut into slices or chunks
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- Add all ingredients, one at a time to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer to ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, transfer cubes to plastic zip lock bags and store in freezer for one month; although I’ve never seen it last that long.
Vinegar and bouillon cubes can be added, if desired; about 1-2 bouillon cubes and 1/4 -1/3 cup of vinegar. You can also add about 6-8 sweet peppers called Ajices Dulces. The color of these peppers range from a light to medium green, yellow, red and orange. They pack some heat – So despite wanting to, I can’t use them (I live with wusses). The beauty of sofrito is its versatility. There’s no right or wrong.
In case you’re having trouble identifying culantro (Mr. M.O.B. still does)… If you take a look at my first picture, Culantro is on the bottom right hand next to the garlic. It’s identified by its long leaves and serrated edges.