Potatoes ala Sofrito

Monday, May 8, 2006

I fall in love with food occasionally. My crush this week- are these skillet potatoes. They cook in a tomato based sauce that condenses down into a thick sweet ketchup like sauce that is amazing. I could easily eat this dish every day, giving it new nuances here and there to shake it up. This is wonderful as a brunch or breakfast item served with sliced boiled eggs. Would also be a great tapas item served with baked fish and spinkled with saffron during the cooking.

Potatoes ala Sofrito

tomatoey good potatoesServes three, or two generously.

In a cast iron skillet, over low heat, fry up one slice’s worth of bacon cut up into small pieces. Cooking this slowly over low heat separates the fat from the meaty bacon bits, its that fat we want. When the bacon bits are a nice darkened color, scoop them out with a fork, and feed them to your favorite kitchen slave.

To the hot remaining bacon grease, add one small onion diced, and sprinkle over 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir occasionally.

While the onion is cooking whirl in the blender, 1 cup of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (from a can, I admidt), 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 cloves of garlic, and one whole roasted pepper. Blend thoroughly.

Cut up two large russet potatoes (each larger than a closed fist) into dice sized cubes.

When the onions have cooked through, and are slightly golden around the edge, add your cubed potatoes and stir in with the onions. Pour in the blended tomato mixture, and sprinkle with 1 Tbs of sugar. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid after five minutes and cook till the potato cubes are fork tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally, scraping up the sauce from the bottom of your skillet. If you wish your tomato sauce to be more saucy, add more chicken stock, or a glug of beer.

Top the finished potatoes with ground pepper, a couple good shakes of vinegar based chili sauce, and some sliced green onions.

Nice variations: using different types of roasted peppers shakes up this dish quite a bit. Also, try substituting beer for half of the chicken stock. Additionally, baby potatoes may be used an left intact.

Enjoy this spectacular dish!

10 Comments

posted May 8th, 2006 at 10:50 pm

Looks wonderful, this is similar to a dish i cook frequently with anchovies, garlic and parsley.

- Paul
posted May 9th, 2006 at 5:57 am

Joc,

True Southern cooks seldom have to cook bacon when we need bacon fat. Instead, we keep the fat every time we cook bacon in a container. Bacon fat is too important an ingredient to leave to chance.

  • So that’s what that container next to the stove is for!

    –McAuliflower

posted May 9th, 2006 at 5:42 pm

So, one question springs to mind – do you roast your own pepper or do you buy one already roasted?

  • Both :)

    I have an electric stove, but I can still roast peppers on it. Our farmers market has a specialty pepper grower who roasts peppers. I have a stash in the freezer and just used up some roasted pimentos.

    –McAuliflower

posted May 9th, 2006 at 7:27 pm

oh that looks good!!!

Can’t buy fire roasted tomoates in a can here though….

posted May 12th, 2006 at 10:57 am

That look delicious, and my mouth is totally watering. Definitely making these – thanks for sharing!

posted August 20th, 2006 at 7:28 pm

[...] We have some serious comfort food to attend to! [...]

posted December 23rd, 2006 at 9:18 pm

Sounds mostly tasty to me in theory, but the catch is that while I don’t keep kosher 100%, no bacon for me…. Would some sort of substitution still create the ketchup-like sauce you mentioned, or is the bacon grease important?

The bacon grease can definitely be omitted from this recipe. Canola oil can be used to saute the onions. The keys to the ketchup like sauce are using either roasted peppers or tomatoes and a pinch of sugar in the cooking liquid added on top of the potatoes. However, that step is a fun place to get creative. I’ve tastily substituted salsa, enchilada sauce and roasted green peppers in that cooking liquid to great effect!

–McAuliflower

- Jed Sorokin-Altmann
posted May 13th, 2007 at 9:34 pm

hi! i found this through the “one year ago” link and just wanted to say thanks for the recipe–we tried it for “breakfast at dinner” tonight with frittata and sausages and the potatoes were amazing! yum.

- Sara
posted September 21st, 2008 at 5:54 pm

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