Ever since my travels to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, and my frequenting of Atlanta's best Colombian food restaurant (Las Delicias De La Abuela), I have been searching for that "thing." You know what I'm talking about. I have seen recipes for Sofrito and Recaito and other similar seasoning sauces, cooking bases and marinades (Epis in Haiti, and, simply, "green seasoning" throughout the Caribbean, for example), and indeed, I read over and over how it is the secret to the goodness, so I decided to try it today. Let's just say: I have arrived and I am never returning. There's life before Sofrito and after. That's it. The plan is to make enough so that we can put it away in portions so they will be at the ready -- which just requires a single weekend afternoon of prep for months of return. Today, we (with my daughter Kennedi as my sous chef) used it by the spoonful in our rice, as a post-roasted marinade to cook down my chicken and as a condiment of sorts for the resulting Arroz Con Pollo. Our measurements are never precise. It's a lot of improvising and "seasoning to taste" but hopefully you get the gist. Also, the traditional recipes call for additional ingredients like culantro (shado beni), sometimes a tomato base and particular types of heat (like cubanelle or scotch bonnet), and we intend to build on this recipe depending on what the meal calls for. For now, we "make do."
Scallion (green onion)
Bell pepper (yellow)
Chicken bouillon (or Chicken broth)
Lime juice (optional)
Rough chop the ingredients. Combine 3 parts Cilantro to 2 parts Parsley to 1 part Scallion and a 1 part Pepper. Additionally add in about 3 cloves of chopped garlic, a cube of the bouillon and two pinches of sea salt. We ended up not putting in any lime juice but we did add some Chicken broth. Once in the blender, or food processor, (or in our case my Magic Bullet), drizzle some olive oil over it and start blending to your desired texture. I like mine a little chunky so a few pulses sufficed. Makes about 1 cup.
Arroz Con Pollo:
I added roughly four tablespoons of Sofrito to my rice (made in chicken broth) in the beginning before it started boiling and maybe a half tablespoon toward the end. I also put a pinch of saffron to give it color.
After the chicken had been seasoned, roasted and cut into 8 pieces, I put a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and a couple of tablespoons of Sofrito and covered to simmer down; stirring occasionally. After the simmer I put another tablespoon on top … and added the chicken to the rice for serving.
Lightly fried white corn tortillas
Place it in the center of the table and enjoy. (Didn't bother transferring it from the pot)