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Shefs Sauce Highlight: Rosario’s “Al Ojo” Sofrito

by Shef Rosario Arcos

Sofrito is a base used in many Latin dishes. There are variations of how the sofrito is prepared across Latin America. Every country puts their own spin on it. My Sofrito, which is inspired by my Ecuadorian roots and many years observing my own mother in the kitchen, incorporates more cilantro and achiote spice than you might find prepared in other countries. It is a combination of onions, peppers, cilantro, achiote spice, among other ingredients, that work together to turn what might be a bland dish into a mouthwatering experience.

For me, it’s impossible to start cooking without sofrito. It’s almost like a “sin.” There’s something about the scent and how it fills my kitchen and home that brings me joy. Perhaps my favorite thing is when people walk into my home, while I am cooking my sofrito, and react like if they were just transported to their happy place....“umm! that smells delicious."

I use my sofrito to make most beans, lamb and even chicken stew. I have found that it’s hard to go wrong making any of these dishes if you have a strong sofrito. Once it’s cooked and slightly brownish, you incorporate the meat or beans you want to make and voila! The sofrito does all the work for you. That said, you still have to make sure you are paying attention so that you don't undercook or overcook whatever meal you are making.

SHOP: Rosario’s “al ojo” Sofrito

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