The Simple Sofrito
The Simple Sofrito is a powerful flavor ambassador. One of the very first things that my mother taught me about cooking is to always start with a sofrito. She said that my food would always be delicious if I started whatever I was doing with this magic concoction. It seems like every Latino family has their own version of sofrito. My sister always adds a little fresh garlic, carrots and celery. My Ecuadoran consuegra calls it “Refrito,” and hers includes garlic, onion and achiote. In Spain, the sofrito involves garlic and red pepper.
A Universal Practice
In our family, it meant chopping up some green chile, tomate y cebolla and frying it up in a small amount of oil. So try this simple saute of green chile, onion and tomato next time you are cooking up some taco meat, scrambled eggs, or whatever you’re hungry for. Just start with the sofrito and then when the pepper is soft but not wilted, add your meat, eggs, or frijoles de la olla. We always make the point that Latinos and Latinas are not a monolithic group. We are not all the same, but we have some strong things in common. In the kitchen we find that almost all Spanish, Mexican and Latin American cooks use some kind of sofrito. Therefore, you can call the Sofrito, a universal practice across Latino cultures!
The De Las Mías sofrito is very simple and packs a good punch with ancho chile. Find the recipe in the De Las Mías Recipe collection. Use it as a base for soup or whatever other guisado you embark on. The short cut is simple though, just chop up some chile, tomate y cebolla and fry it up in a small amount of oil. Sure, go ahead and add some minced garlic. ¡Y ya!
Nothing Fancy, Just Sabroso
I’m a very simple cook but people always love my food. I don’t have a lot of fancy cooking stuff and most of my pots look like they made it out of a war zone, but I always start with a sofrito, and I think that’s why I cook sabroso.
One of my favorite on-the-go meals is to stop by the market and get one of those chickens that are already roasted. I remove the skin and chop it up for taquitos. I always start with the simple sofrito I learned from my mom. The chicken just tastes better and you can forget that you bought it in a plastic container and that it’s slammed in sodium. (Poquito de todo, remember?)
I heat up my corn tortillas with a tiniest amount of butter on the comal. Add the chopped chicken that I sauteed with my sofrito. Top it off with shredded cabbage, cilantro, green onion and a squeeze of lime. And you’ve got dinner!
Try it and let me know how it goes. Nothing fancy! Just good and healthy. And it’ll take you home.