Growing up, I remember friends going into my freezer and shocked to see cubes of sofrito recaito (pronounced: rec – eye – eee – toe) in ice trays. Often, they had no idea that this was cilantro and recao (culantro) a Puerto Rican cooking staple!
Roomies that I have had that were not of Latinx caribbean decent and had never seen it be made, ALWAYS loved the aroma it gives when it hit the pan with olive oil to sauté. Sofrito Recaito lets off a smell, that gets your entire building, home, street craving a home cooked meal! I have to purchase ice trays soon, so I stored them in jars and containers until I do.
As my late 20s comes to a close, I recognize so many traditions I want to continue. I’ve made it throughout my twenties using a blender, but I finally got a food processor! Sofrito is just better to me when made in a food processor. Here’s to making something that my Ma would put in Arroz con gandules (staple Puerto Rican rice and beans), Arroz con pollo, Pollo guisado, seasoning for all types meats and fish, soups and more. I literally remember it always being used. Sofrito Recaito is a base that I can’t wait for you to taste!
It has a super strong taste alone, but mixed into beans, rice, soups and stews, it will change your world.
8-9 cups of Sofrito
4 onions (I used 3 Spanish onions and one red)
30 garlic cloves
1 1/2-2 bunches of cilantro (2 full bunches are dependent upon if you find culantro.)
8 ripe plum tomatoes or 32 cherry tomatoes as I used
12 hojas de recao (Culantro leaves)
2 cubanelle peppers (Also known as Haitian pepppers)
1-2 Green bell peppers (medium sized, use 2)
2 Red peppers
16 ajices dulces (ajicitos dulces) (If you cannot find this, you can substitute with 6-8 small sweet peppers)
1/4-2/3 cup of olive oil
(The recao and ajices dulces may be the most tricky to find, but according to Spiceography recao or culantro is 10x as strong as cilantro. So if you don’t find it use the 2 full bundles of the cilantro.)
Wash all of your herbs and vegetables well!
Depit all of your peppers, this means the ajicitos dulces, Haitian pepper, green and red bell peppers.
Cut them in small to medium chunks to place in food processor later.
Peel garlic and peel the onions (open up some windows if you can!)
Chop up onions in medium sized chunks.
Chop up tomatoes in chunks if needed.
Load your food processor with all of your ingredients! If your food processor is smaller than 10 cups, consider only adding half of these ingredients in at a time.
I will soon be posting videos that use sofrito recaito, for you to try!
Let me know how it turns out!