Throughout the Caribbean there are as many versions of sofrito as there are cooks, but it is always a combination of onion, garlic, chiles, thyme, cilantro, and often tomatoes. Sofrito forms the base for many dishes throughout the islands, most notably Arroz con Pollo in Puerto Rico. This Sofrito Rice recipe was tweeked and then authenticated by my neighbor, Antonio, a native of the island. Similar to my jerk seasoning (#2 of my trio), this sofrito rice is the real thing. Try making all three recipes–including the Mango-Papaya Salad–and savor a taste of the Caribbean without leaving your kitchen! Print This Recipe
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper or chiles*
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup natural rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth (or 1-3/4 cups)
* Chile is referred to as aji in Puerto Rico. Poblano or mild green chiles both work well.
Heat oil in a 10 to 12-inch skillet with a lid. Add onion, green pepper (or mild chiles), garlic and salt. Sauté over medium-high heat 4-5 minutes. Stir in rice vinegar. Cook 2-3 minutes more or until vinegar is absorbed. Stir in rice, tomatoes, cilantro and thyme. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir and serve. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired. Makes 4-6 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 230 calories, 5g protein, 44g carb, 4g fat, (0.5g sat. fat), 5mg chol, 710mg sodium, 2g fiber
Recipe by Rita Held Photo by Suzanne Carreiro