Sofrito As A Flavoring Base For Cooking

Sofrito As A Flavoring Base For Cooking

Sofrito in Spanish, Soffrito in Italian –  Flavoring Base Chef Tom Stafford Favors for his Spanish and Italian Dishes

The Vine Cliff Tasting Room in St. Helena stocks in its Chef’s Corner home-made pickles, jams and now Sofrito Sauce, used as a flavoring base for cooking.

Sofrito is a multi-purpose flavoring base used a lot in Spanish and Italian cuisine. It usually contains carrots, onions, celery, and sometimes fennel. All ingredients are minced and cooked in olive oil. I like to do larger batches and freeze them in smaller portions for future use. The key is to not cook the vegetables too hard. it takes time for the vegetables to sweat out and integrate their flavors into each other. Chefs either make their Sofritos blonde, amber or dark depending what application they will use it for.

Mild dishes usually rely on a blonde Sofrito, moderately assertive flavors might require an amber Sofrito, while richer/heavier dishes begin with a dark Sofrito. Another part of intensifying your Sofrito depends on the style of dish that you are preparing. For instance, if it is an Italian dish, one may want to add things like garlic, oregano, or white wine to the Sofrito. If it is a Spanish dish, I like to add smoked paprika and tomatoes to it. The more I use Sofrito as a flavor base, the more I find better and better ways to heighten the complexity of my dishes.

Drop into our St. Helena Tasting Room and pick up a jar of our Sofrito sauce but do call to check to see we have it in stock – 808.967.9820 or write concierge@vinecliff.com