August 14, 2014 at 1:00 am

Sofrito sauce always so good

This Spanish mix helps add the savory to seafood, chicken dishes

You need to cook the seafood in Shrimp and Mussels with sofrito for only about six minutes. (Johnny Miller)

Keep a stash of sofrito on hand and youll always be one step ahead. The only thing easier than making this flavorful Spanish sauce is finding ways to use it.

Easy ways to use sofrito

■Mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread.

■Combine with softened butter and use to top a steak or fish fillet.

■Toss with steamed vegetables.

■Spread on toast and top with tuna and parsley.

■Use as a base for soup or beans.

■Stir into dry rice, cook, then mix in peas.

Sofrito

2 pounds plum tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
2 medium yellow onions

5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bunch cilantro, large stems trimmed
cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarsely chop 2 pounds plum tomatoes, 2 red bell peppers, and 2 medium yellow onions. Combine with 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled, and 1 bunch cilantro, large stems trimmed.

In batches, pulse mixture in a food processor until finely chopped. In a large pot, heat cup extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high until shimmering. Add mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced, about 25 to 30 minutes (reduce heat if browning at edge). To store, let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate, up to 2 weeks, or freeze, up to 6 months. Makes 3 cups.

Per serving (per 2 tablespoons): 56 calories; 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 80 percent calories from fat); 3 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Shrimp and Mussels with Sofrito

cup sofrito
2 pounds mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Crusty bread (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, stir together sofrito and mussels. Add wine and cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp, cover and cook until mussels open and shrimp are opaque throughout, about 6 minutes, stirring once. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve with bread. (Serves 4)

Per serving (without bread): 606 calories; 22 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 33 percent calories from fat); 21 g carbohydrates; 73 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Chicken with Sofrito

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
cup sofrito
13 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip, then add sofrito, wine and broth, swirling to combine. Transfer to oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. Tilt skillet and spoon off excess fat; pour sauce over chicken to serve. Serves 4.

Per serving: 462 calories; 29 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 56 percent calories from fat); 4 g carbohydrates; 42 g protein; 1 g fiber.

everydayfood@marthastewart.com