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How to make sofrito
Are you familiar with sofrito rice? It’s rice cooked with or served with sofrito, and the dish is becoming very popular in the U.S. Don’t know what sofrito is? Sofrito is an important element in Spanish, Portuguese, Caribbean, and Latin American cuisine. The word has no literal translation that I can find, so I guess it’s simply the name of the dish. Basically, sofrito is chopped vegetables and herbs that are sautéed in oil or fat. It’s often used in soups, stews, and sauces, and with beans and rice. Sofrito usually contains tomatoes or tomato sauce, onions, garlic, peppers, cilantro, and bay leaf, but the recipe changes from country to country. Other sofrito recipes might contain cumin, oregano, vinegar, celery, parsley, or annatto. In some cuisines, chopped or ground meat is added, which might be in the form of salt pork, cured ham, or sausage. It’s also important to note that many sofrito recipes aren’t cooked – they’re more like a fresh salsa.
Sofrito can also vary in texture. The bits of foods used in the basic recipe are always small, but “small” is a relative term. Some people make their sofrito chunky, while others like a smooth sofrito. Personally, I like a chunkier mixture, but if you like a smoother sofrito, you can always use a blender or food processor to get your sofrito to the desired consistency.
As the title of this hub implies, hubby and I like our sofrito with rice. I just combine the sofrito with the cooked rice. To make the rice more flavorful, I cook it in half water and half chicken broth. You’ll probably want to add cilantro to your sofrito, but I’m not a fan of cilantro. Here’s a good basic recipe for sofrito.
Holle's sofrito rice recipe
What you’ll need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4 Cubanelle peppers, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
½ bunch parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Directions: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, except for garlic. When mixture is hot and veggies are soft, add garlic. Simmer for a couple of minutes more and remove bay leaf.
Add two cups cooked rice to skillet. Stir in butter, if desired. Heat until mixture is piping hot, stirring as needed. If you prefer, you can spoon the hot sofrito over the cooked rice. This is also great to serve over black beans.
If you make more sofrito than you’re going to use, place the leftovers in a freezer bag for later.