I miss my family. Living on the other side of the country can take its toll on me at times. Cooking and sitting down to eat as a family was such a major part of my life. We do it now, but my uncles used to leave everyone in stitches from laughter and, well, they live in NY and I'm running out of jokes. I have one of those hard working families who use comedy as a way to unwind. To think, I even miss my cousins making fun of whatever crazy outfit I concocted that day. I never thought that would happen!
Coming home from school and smelling sofrito from the hallway was heavenly. It usually meant my grandmother or aunt was visiting. Thinking about it put me in a serious mood for that garlic, pepper and recao aroma today so I decided to make a version my aunt Gloria's arroz con salchicha and homemade sofrito.
Sofrito can be made several ways but La Fonda Boricua's take on it is very simple if you're making it for the first time ~ One cup of white onion, one cup of green pepper, one half of a red pepper ~ all chopped. Four garlic cloves. Quarter cup of cilantro leaves, quarter cup recao leaves ~ both chopped. Then put all the ingredients into the blender. The aroma lifted my spirits and brought back wonderful memories. I turned on some music and cooked away while dancing and singing (yes, please try this at home).
For the arroz con salchicha, I did a bit of a recipe mixture. I used El Boricua as a guide for measurements and added/omitted a few things ~ Three cups of rice, 3 tablespoons of sofrito, 2 packets of Sazon, 2 cans of Vienna Sausages, 1 can of diced tomatoes, one Maggi cebolla y ajo cube, Goya Adobo to taste, black pepper to taste, ¼ cup of olive oil, 4 ¾ cups of hot water and 15-20 pimiento stuffed olives, 1/2 cup red bell pepper ~ chopped and one packet of Maggi Sofrito seasoning paste ( I combined this with the diced tomatoes in the blender and created a delicious sauce).
I think it's pretty hilarious that El Boricua instructs you to wash your rice. My family washed rice two/three times before cooking and the meat and veggies were rinsed with vinegar. And, don't forget to clean the kitchen while you cook. Porque si no ... Ya tu sabes.
So, after your rice is squeaky clean, you can start cooking!
I followed these directions and done! Have a beautiful Memorial Day weekend!!
(Sofrito seasoning paste and ajo/cebolla cube courtesy of Maggi)