Sofrito Puertoriqueno (Puerto Rican Sofrito)

Servings 1-1/2

Ingredients:
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
3 blades culantro (also known as recao or saw tooth and found in Spanish or
Asian markets)
3 stems cilantro, leaves only
2 tablespoon annatto seeds (achiote)
1 ounce salt pork, chopped
2 ounces smoked ham, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablspoon tomato sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste   

Directions:
1 Wash and seed the peppers. Chop peppers, onion, garlic, culantro and cilantro.
Set aside in a bowl. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and annatto seeds over
low heat for about a minute or until the oil turns a rich amber color, to make
achiote oil. Stain the seeds from the oil, taking care as seeds and oil strain.
Return the achiote oil to the pan. Add the salt pork and ham and fry for 5
minutes over medium heat. Add the reserved vegetables and herbs and stir in
the oregano and tomato sauce. Saute for 5 minuts or until the garlic, onions and
peppers are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2 Use immediately or store in a covered container for several days in
refrigerator, or place in ice-cube trays in the freezer. One tablespoon of
sofrito is generally used per serving of the bean, stew or rice dish.
3 VARIATION: For a red sofrito, use only 1/2 long green sweet pepper and add
1 chopped medium tomato. If using this sofrito on bread or on its own, dice
meats finely and fry for 15 minutes or until salt pork is cooked, before adding
vegetables.
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Puerto Rican Recipes
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