The flavors of the Caribbean are recognized around the world for their burst of exquisite pleasure. Like a fine wine, our senses welcome with gusto the mix which dominates the cuisine from the Caribbean region. What they have in common is the use of their base: the Sofrito. Spain and Portugal spell it differently, even though they are phonetically the same, Soffritto.
As we discussed in a previous blog, the French cuisine flavor base is the Mirepoix. Similar ingredients but not the same outcome. Different methods to extract the flavors that make French food distinctly French.
Caribbean Sofrito uses variations of the following ingredients:
small sweet peppers
Long coriander or recao
Extra virgin olive oil
Just like you can see in the pictures, you need to wash, dry, remove seeds, and cut into tiny pieces all the veggies. You can use the hand-cut version if you like that “look” or you can run the ingredients by a food processor and grind then bottle the mix for later use. Right there you have your sofrito. When you are going to use it heat a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in your favorite pan then add the cooking ham and brown it. Then add the sofrito mixture and cook for a couple of minutes. Add some canned tomato sauce and move until it thickens a bit, it comes together. Right there you have the secret of the sofrito and the mix used to season Caribbean food. You can add this mix to beans, any stew, or chopped meat. The uses are endless. All you need is your imagination and your palate. You can cook your old shoes, add this sofrito and you have a delicacy. Try it, you won’t regret it. Buen Provecho.