The first thing my mami taught me how to cook is a traditional Cuban sofrito. I remember my mom, who worked during the week and would typically cook on weekends, leaning over the pressure cooker pot and following the very specific steps to making the base that is at the start of many Cuban dishes.
I didn’t take into account just how important this all was back then. It really wasn’t until college, when I started to cook on my own, that I realized I needed to learn more. Finally, one day I asked my mom to teach me to make Cuban black beans. On her next visit, she did, but first she explained that I needed to start at the beginning.
A sofrito is a sauce that is used as a base in many Cuban dishes. In fact, it is the base of many Latin dishes–but we all do it a little differently. A traditional Cuban sofrito is made with onions, bell peppers and garlic all being cooked in a particular order.
When I started cooking healthier, I realized that having sofrito always on hand was a good way to start almost any dish. The flavors from the fragrant onions, peppers and garlic combination is now something I keep in my refrigerator at all times. It started slowly but these days I’m in the habit of making a big batch of traditional Cuban sofrito, then storing it in my fridge for the next few months. I think mami would be proud. Continue reading