Sofrito is a pasty mixture used to season many Latin dishes.
I don’t like to buy premixed seasoning. I usually mix desired ingredients into whatever dish I’m making. The up side is that I get fresh-tasting food. The down side is that if I’m not feeling up to cooking from scratch, I revert to substitutes. My substitute for sofrito is below.
Here’s my quick recipe for sofrito paste.
Cut the onions, peppers, tomatoes into fourths and break garlic into fourths. Put all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed and pasty.
If the mixture becomes too thick to continue blending but doesn’t look thoroughly mixed, spoon it out into a glass bowl and continue to mix with a spoon or spatula.
The amount needed for different recipes varies greatly on the recipe and the serving size of the recipe.
You can store whatever you don’t use in a jar in the refrigerator or in a freezer bag and frozen.
*My sofrito confession: When I’m caught craving sofrito but I haven’t made any, I substitute chunky salsa** in my desired spiciness. While sofrito is usually pasty, I use chunky salsa because regular salsa is too watery. I’d rather have chunky than watery.
**Yes. I also make salsa and pico de gallo from scratch
I make sweet potato pie two ways- with and without roasted bananas. This is the version without bananas. (Putting bananas in the pie adds sweetness with less refined sugar).
• 4 large sweet potatoes
• 2 sticks of butter (salted or unsalted)
• 2 teaspoons nutmeg
• 3 tablespoons cinnamon +/- to taste
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 pack frozen pie crust
* you will need aluminum foil and cookie sheets
Take the pie crusts out of the freezer, separate and allow them to defrost. Boil water and pre-heat the oven to 375 (temperature varies by region). Skin and boil potatoes. I like to cut them in halves or fourths so they will boil quicker. Put the potatoes in the boiling water with a couple pinches of salt. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. I like to poke them with a fork to check.
When the sweet potatoes are completely soft, drain the water from the pot and put the potatoes in a large bowl. Use a fork to break the potatoes apart. At this point, I put the cookie sheets in the oven. Use a cake mixer to whip the potatoes until creamy. Start the mixer on low then increase the speed as the potatoes soften. Whip on high for at least a minute or two. Use a fork to check for lumps; continue to mix as necessary. Add the softened butter, and a couple pinches of salt. Use the mixer to combine. Add the nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Use the mixer to thoroughly combine and then taste. Add more cinnamon and sugar to taste.
Pour the mixture into the pie crusts. Tear or cut one inch strips of aluminum foil. Use the strips of aluminum foil to wrap the edges of the pie crusts; this stops the edges from browning too quickly. Place the pies on the cookie sheets. The purpose of doing this is that the preheated sheets brown the bottom of the pie crust while the pie cooks. Bake for 15-20 minutes (time varies by region). After baking the pies, I like to turn the broiler on and let the pies broil for about 2 minutes (or until the top of the pies brown slightly). This creates a film on the top of the pie. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
Bag any left over pie filling in a freezer bag and freeze. Be sure to label the bag before you fill it with what it is and the date you are bagging it.
I make this gnocchi soup recipe once a month or so; but definitely in the Fall and Winter. It’s super easy and tastes delicious! If you cook the vegetarian variation in a slow cooker, it should be ready in 30 minutes if you put it on high. This, like most of my recipes, this can be frozen and reheated.
* add other seasoning and ingredients to taste; I add salt and pepper
You will begin by pouring the cream of mushroom soup into the slow cooker. Then, fill the large soup can with water and pour it into the slow cooker twice. Stir the soup until it is consistent. Now, stir in the remaining ingredients. If you want this meal quickly, put the slow cooker on high; otherwise put it on low and let it simmer for hours. (If you use raw chicken , it will take several hours to cook.)
After the soup is cooked, I remove all except what I plan to eat that day from the baking dish and I let it cool in a bowl to prepare it for bagging. Bag the food in a freezer bag the sized bags needed to feed your household. Be sure to label the bag before you fill it with what it is and the date you are bagging it.
I make my pot pie using my easy stew. I make them after the stew cools and freeze them or eat them immediately. This is how.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Pour the stew into your frozen pie crusts until the filling is slightly below the rim. If you choose, add a top crust by laying it over the pie and pressing the dough into the bottom dough. If you add a top crust, slice about a 1 inch long slice in the top crust or poke holes with a fork. This will allow heat to escape and prevent a mess. Whether you add a top crust or not, rip foil into half inch or so strips and wrap around the edges of the crust so that it doesn't burn. Bake for 25-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
*If you choose to freeze these for later, be sure to label the pies beforehand with what it is and the date.
I made this stew yesterday. It's a great meal you can make ahead or make extra then freeze. I also use it in another recipe I'll share soon. If you are preparing this days before you want to eat it, put the pot or crock pot on low. If it's being prepared early on the day of, put the slow cooker on high.
First, you will need to make the stew base. Pour a small amount (about 2 cups) of water or broth into the crock pot. Whisk in the envelop of brown gravy into the pot. Then whisk in flour slowly until the mixture is slightly pasty. (gravy thickens naturally) Now pour in more water / broth until the pot is half full and mix. Dump the meat and vegetables into your slow cooker. Add water/ broth until the pot is full and stir.
Cook for at least a few hours. I remove all except what I plan to eat that day from the slow cooker and I let it cool in a bowl to prepare it for bagging. Bag the food in a freezer bag the sized bags needed to feed your household. Be sure to label the bag before you fill it with what it is and the date you are bagging it.
I use my chili recipe to make this recipe I'll share soon. You can assemble this, cook it and freeze it or eat it immediately.
• cooked chili
• about 3 cans of corn (may need more or less)
• about 4 boxes of corn muffin mix
• milk (amount required by muffin recipe)
• eggs (amount required by muffin recipe)
Mix the corn muffin mix. Pour enough chili to cover about ½ inch into a dish. (I use these pie dishes for several recipes like this because they're easy to clean.) Then pour enough corn to cover the chili. Finally, pour about ½ inch of corn muffin mix on top; do not over fill. Bake following corn muffin instructions. Reduce bake time by about 10 minutes if you plan to freeze it to eat it later. Partially cooking it makes for better freezing and will ensure the cornbread doesn't burn when reheating. Cover the food with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze. Be sure to label what it is and the date before freezing it. Whenever you fully cook it, I enjoy rubbing butter over the top of the cornbread as soon as I pull it out of the oven.
I mentioned frozen onions and peppers in my chili post. I freeze many foods that many people don't thinks of freezing. I hope this post helps you. I also did a video a couple years ago. I freeze
I make this chili and I freeze some and I also use it in another recipe I'll share soon. If you are preparing this days before you want to eat it, put the pot or slow cooker on warm. If it's being prepared early on the day of, put the slow cooker on low. If you plan to eat some within two hours, put the slow cooker on high.
• pack of chili seasoning
• can of tomato paste
• canned (or fresh) tomatoes
• onions and peppers
• canned beans (I use black, dark red, kidney)
• browned ground turkey/ ground beef/ caramel colored tofu
* add other seasoning and ingredients to taste
* you may like to substitute tomatoes and onions and peppers with salsa.
Dump all of the above ingredients into your slow cooker. and stir. You will want to add water. I put a little water in the cans so that I'm getting all of the ingredients out of the can as I'm adding water. Do not make the chili too watery.
After the chili has been cooking for at least a few hours, I remove all except what I plan to eat that day from the slow cooker and I let it cool in a bowl to prepare it for bagging. Bag the food in a freezer bag the sized bags needed to feed your household. Be sure to label the bag before you fill it with what it is and the date you are bagging it.
I have some essentials that I must have on hand at all times so that I can prepare meals ahead of time. I have previously made a video about this but here are some of my essentials. This is a living list...
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