Every culture has its favorite condiments to season their food. In Dominican cuisine we have what we call Sazón. We use it to prepare almost every traditional dish, such as beans, meat, rice, seafood, soups, sancochos (stews) and pasta. Having it at hand will make cooking easier and healthier.
Note: This is my version of the Sazón, the one I have been using for over 20 years to cook the traditional Dominican food and I have not gotten any complaint : o)
2 whole garlic heads
5 bell or cubanela peppers
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 chicken bouillons
¼ cup oregano
½ - 1 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons bija (achiote) or 1 tablespoon of Saffron
2 tablespoons olives and capers
1 tablespoon salt or to taste
¼ cup vinegar or sour orange
1 cup water to use only if needed
A little oil (optional)
Black Pepper to taste
Cut all the ingredients into cubes and process until desired consistency in a food processor or blender. If the consistency get too thick, use small amounts of water until it continues to blend properly. It stores well for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container kept in the refrigerator.
1. Season meats with or seafood with enough sazón, (use 1/4 cup for 2 LBS. or to taste) and place in the refrigerator covered for at least half hour before cooking.
2. For all the other dishes, what we do is saute enough seasoning to taste this process is called sofrito. To do this: in a hot sauce pan place a little bit of oil and saute the sazón, if tomato paste will be used add it now. When it forms a thick sauce added it to cooked beans, in the water for cooking yellow rice, locrios or moros, soups or pasta.
Note: You can use more garlic if you like, but I prefer to process additional garlic separately with some salt and oil. I store it aside for recipes that require extra garlic, for example: steaks, beans and soups, and for other recipe that do not require Dominican seasoning such as international meals.
Nuestro Sazón Natural (Sazón Criollo)
I dedicate this post to my mom and my sister Miriam for teaching me their cooking tips, for being excellent cooks and inspiring me to cook better each day.
"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you." - Acts 3:6
Text and Photos © Mari's Cakes