20 Minutes 4 servings
By Doreen Colondres
Has it not happen to you that someone gives you a recipe of a stew and after you try making it you say “It didn't come out the same’’. This is because the flavor of a recipe that’s made with “sofrito”, relays on how this essencial base for any stew is made. Here’s a little help with my favorite sofrito recipe…
What you need:
- 15 sweet chiles “ajíes dulces” (take off the stems and use the whole piece)
- 1 package of fresh cilantro (take off the roots and use the leafs and stems; stems have a lot of flavor!)
- 15 culantro leaves (also known as Recao)
- 1 tbsp. of dry oregano
- 1 green bell pepper (without the seeds)
- 1 red bell pepper (without the seeds)
- 1 cubanelle pepper (without the seeds)
- 1 big white onion
- 1 whole head of garlic (peeled and minced)
What you need to do:
- Wash all the ingredients well.
- Put the onion into a blender or food processor with a little bit of water (approx. 1/3 of a cup) only to blend it well.
- Then add the rest of the ingredients roughly chopped
The secret of the sofrito are the sweet chiles (ajies dulces) but you have to make sure you didn’t pick the spicy hot ones because they’re very similar to the eye.
The liquid that comes out of the Sofrito is as important as the rest of the content. Use both of them to cook. Depending on how you make it, will be the color and texture it’ll get. For example: the one in the picture is finely chopped to perfection and never went through the blender or processor… my grandmother says this is the best way to do it. My mother’s, in the other hand, comes out dark green and really grated while others are lighter green and more like a puree… it all depends on the recipe of each person and the amount of cilantro and culantro used. They’re all good, depending on how you cut the ingredients, how much of each you use and how you mix them together, is how your Sofrito will result. You can keep it in the freezer and it’ll last for months. But if you keep some in the refrigerator, can last up to a month as long as you store it in a glass container.