Sunday, January 23, 2022

ChezCindy: Sofrito Red Beans and Rice


A sofrito is the base for much Hispanic cooking for soups, stews, casseroles, and more.  Most all sofrito recipes begin with peppers, onions, and garlic. sautéed with oil until the vegetables are softened.  Depending on the region, other ingredients may include tomatoes, herbs, and seeds, with some leaning towards being spicy hot or mild.  

This sofrito recipe began with onions, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil as my base ingredients.  Once these were softened, with no browning, I added cooked brown rice, cooked quinoa, and canned red beans.  I kept the seasoning simple using only kosher salt and a pinch of ground pepper.  The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can customize it in any direction that strikes you as interesting.  I wanted to include more green vegetables.  I shredded a few Brussel sprouts adding to the cooked sofrito for a quick sauté.  Finishing all with a shower of chopped green onions.  

Sofrito Red Beans and Rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
5 Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 15-ounce can red beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, chopped
fresh ground pepper to taste

Working in a large 10-inch or 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat, add in the olive oil heating for a minute or two.  Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped onion and peppers, sprinkling with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Stir to combine, sautéing for several minutes until beginning to soften.  Add in the minced garlic, cooking for 1 minute.  Add in the sliced Brussel sprouts cooking for just a minute so as not to lose the beautiful green color.  Add in the rice, quinoa, and red beans to warm through, stirring all to combine.  Taste for seasoning, adding the remaining salt if needed and the ground pepper.  

Transfer to your serving bowl, finish with a sprinkling of chopped green onions.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  

A tip for quick cooking:  I often make a batch of brown rice, quinoa, and/or lentils when I have extra time on a good day for cooking ahead.  Each of these items freeze well, stored in a freezer zip-top bag.  Having each of the brown rice and quinoa in my freezer made this dish come together in short time. 

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