Dairy Free / Egg free / Fresh Produce / Goodness on the Side! / Preserving / Savory and Splendid! / Vegetables

Sofrito {for canning}

20130814-140718.jpgI’m trying to break the mold a little bit of my standard go-to summer tomato canning recipes. I always make salsa and spaghetti sauce…which, don’t get me wrong, are great…but it’s like my cross country coach from high school once upon a time said, “Variety is the spice of life!”

One of my favorite meals, like I have mentioned in a previous post, is chicken in a sofrito sauce served along side of Patacones {which are Panamanian double-fried plantains}. We usually just buy the jar marked “Sofrito” in the hispanic section of grocery stores, but I wanted to try my hand at making this thick, flavor-packed sauce that has mouth-water inducing qualities. Yes, I believe it has been done! If it gives you any indication, I purposely did not wash the pot yet after filling the jars in order to get a few more taste testings…it would be such a shame to see any of that lovely sauce go down the drain.

You may wonder, “Is it the same as the jar in the grocery store?” If we did a side by side comparison, it definitely isn’t the same exact sauce and I don’t know about you, but I would rather have homemade any day! Try it out and let me know how you like it! Enjoy! -Shelley.

*For this canning recipe a pressure cooker canner is needed.

Sofrito
*Makes approximately 4 quarts

6 T olive oil
2 T annatto seeds

10 c tomato sauce
1 large can tomato paste

6 medium anaheim peppers, de-seeded and chopped finely
2 green bell peppers, de-seeded and chopped finely
5 c onions, chopped finely
24 garlic cloves, minced
2 c celery, chopped finely
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

2 t paprika
2 t freshly ground black pepper
4 T + 1 t Goya Adobo Seasoning
1 t cumin
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c lime juice

Start off by chopping all of the peppers, onions, garlic, celery and cilantro. Set aside. I used tomato sauce that I ran through a food mill to give me fresh tomato sauce. Canned tomato sauce could easily be used as well.

Next pour olive oil into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add annatto seeds and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until annatto seeds start to turn black. Pour oil and seeds through a fine mesh strainer into a large skillet with a heavy bottom. Discard seeds.

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Heat annatto-infused oil over medium-high heat and add chopped onions, garlic and celery. Saute for a few minutes to soften up.

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Add green peppers and cook for a few more minutes. Then add cilantro and stir to combine.

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Pour tomato sauce into a large stock pot and add the large can of tomato paste. Stir to combine.

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Add sautéed veggies and remaining seasonings and lime juice to tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. After it has simmered, puree sauce using an immersion blender.

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Fill sterilized jars with sofrito sauce, leaving 1″ headspace. Remove air bubbles from jar using something like a chop stick {that’s what I always use anyway}. Wipe rim clean with a clean, hot, damp rag. Adjust 2 piece cap, tightening to *just* finger tight. Process in a pressure cooker canner for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. *Make sure to read instruction manual for your specific canner and follow the directions!

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After processing is complete, carefully remove hot jars from canner and place on a towel-lined surface and cover with another towel. Allow to rest 12-24 hours, or until completely cool. Once cool, check to make sure jars have sealed by gently pressing the center of the lid. If it pops back, refrigerate and use. If sealed, label and date and store for later use.

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Notice how much liquid was lost from the jar.  When I took the jars out of the canner they were fuller than this.  I think the loss of liquid was due to the jars cooling off a bit too fast.  I probably should have let them sit another ten minutes or so in the canner before removing them to cool.

Notice how much liquid was lost from the jar. When I took the jars out of the canner they were fuller than this. I think the loss of liquid was due to the jars cooling off a bit too fast. I probably should have let them sit another ten minutes or so in the canner before removing them to cool.

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