Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sofrito Cubano

My grandmother gave me advice when I first started dating: Stay away from the good-looking ones, she said. El hombre es como el oso, mientras mas feo, mas hermoso – Men are like bears, the burlier and uglier the better. I didn't pay much attention, and set my sights on the handsome ones. The irony is, that thirty years later, they all pretty much ended up burly and ugly. Thank goodness I did follow her advice when she told me to learn how to cook, and she was a great teacher.

Most Cuban recipes start with a base called Sofrito. To the following Sofrito you can add meat, or chicken, or fish, or just about anything. It would be difficult to find a Cuban kitchen lacking the following ingredients. How much Sofrito you make depends on the amount of food you're cooking, but the basic recipe requires:

4 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
8-10 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 cans tomato sauce
1 or 2 bay leaves
dash of oregano
dash of ground cumin
3/4 cup Sherry or dry white wine
salt to taste

The secret to a good Sofrito is to let it simmer a while so all the tastes meld. Warm oilive oil on medium heat and sautee onions, peppers, and garlic until limp. Add the tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano, cumin and Sherry and let simmer. If you add the salt, taste beforehand as you might not need it at all.


  1. found ur blog by random last night & love everything you have posted! Look forward to ur up coming posts.

  2. Thank you Didi and Queenie. Just started really posting last week, and I'm still not too familiar with my way around the blog or with blogger etiquette. My daughter says it is proper to respond here so thank you, and hope you come back soon.

  3. To me a basic sofrito is just garlic, onions, and bell peppers cooked in olive oil or manteca. That's the basic. From there you build on it depending on what your cooking. Some dishes will use wine some won't some may use different spices, etc. some use tomato some don't so it all depends but that's the basic.

    The amount depends on your taste. But usually when i cook for about 5-8 people I use 1 bell pepper, 1 onion, and 6 cloves garlic. For some dishes I go heavier on garlic depends or even lighter.