Last summer, I was making up a batch of this Cuban style Sofrito while my daughter was visiting. She dipped out a taste, and said Yum! Her lunch was a couple slabs of Paula Lambert's mozzarella (we live outside Dallas) heaped up with this herbal mix. She was nearly drooling into her plate! Although I make this mostly to stir into a pot of beans, I do like it with the mozzarella and also like to spread a bit on a plate and top with a scoop of Fromage Blanc or other fresh white cheese. I've also stirred it into pasta salad with amazing results.
The pepper mix can be adjusted a bit to suit individual tastes. I often use the Hatch New Mexico peppers in place of the Italian type or toss in a jalapeno to give a bit more heat.
CUBAN STYLE SOFRITO
Submitted by Wendy Akin
Not to be confused with Italian sofrito which is a mix of sauteed vegetables used as a sauce base, this Cuban version is a pungent mix of raw herbs and vegetables. It is used to add freshness, herbal notes and zing to many Cuban dishes. Do try it in fresh shell beans and other bean soups.
2 medium onions cut into large chunks
4 - 6 Italian or Cubanelle frying peppers, split and seeded
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 -2 padron or pimento type peppers if you can find them
16 - 20 cloves of garlic, peeled (yes, that many)
3 - 4 roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded or 1 cup canned
1 quite large bunch of fresh cilantro, washed
Put the onions, garlic and peppers into the bowl of the food processor and start, add the tomatoes and cilantro and run the processor until the sofrito is smooth.
This recipe makes about 4 cups. Freeze it in ½ cup batches in little baggies and stir it into all kinds of dishes, most especially any bean soup.
Bonnie wrote to us to ask if anyone has a recipe for "a yogurt cheese which is like cheese, not like drained yogurt." If anyone has a recipe, please send it to Jeri at Moosletter@cheesemaking.com