As a Puerto Rican, I grew up in a house that my mom use to cook almost every day making sure her family ate great food. Her food was made with love and most of all with her own special sofrito.
You might have read other blogs about this topic so I want you to know that this is a must-have condiment to keep on hand for any Puerto Rican dish.
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What is Puerto Rican Sofrito?
Sofrito is the beginning of all the best recipes and gives Puerto Rican cuisine its distinctive flavor. It is an aromatic blend of vegetables, herbs, and spices used to flavor beans, fish, meats, rice, and stews. It can act as a sauce, a stew, or a base upon which the rest of the recipe is built. Puerto Rican sofrito is typically green and we add the tomato sauce later when using the sofrito in a recipe.
What is Puerto Rican Recaito?
Recaito is a green aromatic puree of onions, culantro (recao) leaves, garlic, green peppers and ajies dulces (small sweet peppers). In Puerto Rico, recaito is used as the base seasoning known as sofrito. When preparing Puerto Rican cuisines, you may notice it called by either name. Notice the absence of tomatoes.
This recipe is a simple one for the first-timers.The Best Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito) Click To Tweet
The Best Simple Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito)
We start with pre-washing two bushels of culantro also known as recao, broad leaf or spiny coriander. Look for bunches of culantro with whole leaves that are deep green with the roots intact, if possible.
Culantro Health Benefits
This tropical plant is rich in calcium and contains iron, riboflavin, and carotene. According to Purdue University, Culantro has medicinal value and may be prepared in tea form to combat the flu, diabetes, constipation, and fevers.
These are two packs of ajies dulces (small sweet peppers). Ají dulce, ají cachucha, quechucha, ajicito, or ají gustoso is any of a variety of sweet perennial peppers found in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is most widely known in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. It refers to a specific native variety of Capsicum Chinese related to the habanero but with a much milder, smoky flavor. In the English-speaking Caribbean, it is known as seasoning pepper and is essential to a variety of traditional dishes.
Two scallions. Scallions are vegetables derived from various species in the genus Allium. Scallions have a milder taste than most onions. Their close relatives include garlic, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onions. According to Wikipedia.
Scallions are an abundant source of vitamin C, B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and vitamin B3 (niacin). Scallions are also a good source of various vitamins and minerals such as carotenoids, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants.
These are two bushels of cilantro. Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, also deriving from Coriandrum. It is the common term in American English for coriander leaves.
For this recipe, you can add one head of garlic or 12 cloves of garlic. Garlic is an herb that is grown around the world. It is related to onion, leeks, and chives.
Garlic may help lower blood pressure, may quell inflammation, may support immune function, may reduce blood clotting, may help lower cholesterol, and provides a host of antioxidants.
Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers. According to Medical News Today.
Wash and take out all seeds of six bell peppers. In this recipe, I added two of the same colors. Red peppers pack the most nutrition because they’ve been on the vine longest. Green peppers are harvested earlier before they have a chance to turn yellow, orange, and then red. Compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C.
Green peppers feature a more bitter flavor profile. Orange and yellow bell peppers are sweeter, with the sweetest being the red bell pepper.
Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers are full of great health benefits—they’re packed with vitamins and low in calories! They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.
Two Cubanelle Peppers. The Cubanelle, also known as “Cuban pepper” and “Italian frying pepper”, is a variety of sweet pepper of the species Capsicum annuum.
They are excellent sources of vitamin C and vitamin A (through their concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), two very powerful antioxidants. Vitamin B6 and folate, important for heart health, and an assortment of important minerals are also high in bell peppers.
Add three onions. One white and two yellow ones. The yellow onion is a variety of dry onions with a strong flavor and the white onion is softer and milder than yellows ones.
Packed With Nutrients, may benefit heart health, they are loaded with antioxidants, contains a cancer-fighting compound, Can help control blood sugar, they also have antibacterial properties, and much more.
Put some in the processor and make sure you put some onions in first as that the onion is going to water down. Keep putting more of the vegetables in and then drain the vegetable in a bowl by draining the juices in a bowl because you are going to keep using the same juices to process the vegetables so you won’t burn out the food processer.
It should look like this!
This is a simple way and you can put them in containers and freeze them and use one container at a time. It does not have to aromatic like salt, pepper, tomato sauce, olive oil you can add them when you are cooking depending on what you are cooking.
- 2 bushel of Culantro
- 2 packs of ajies dulces (small sweet peppers)
- 2 scallions
- 2 bushels of cilantro
- 12 cloves of garlic
- 6 bell peppers (2 green, 2 yellow, 2 red)
- 2 Cubanelle peppers
- 1 white onion
- 2 yellow onion
- 3 big bowls
- 1 food processer
Wash and clean every product cut all of them and then process them In the processer.
Make sure to use gloves when taking out the seeds of the ajies dulces (small sweet peppers)
The Best Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito)
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