In Cajun cooking they have the “Holy Trinity” of base ingredients, consisting of onions, bell peppers and celery. In French cuisine they have Mirepoix which is onions, carrots and celery. And in Spanish and Latin cooking there is Sofrito—the humble beginning to so many amazing recipes.
Sofrito is an aromatic, tomato-based sauce used in many Spanish and Latin American recipes. Very popular in Cuban cuisine, it typically consists of onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes and other spices cooked in olive oil.
In Cuban cuisine, sofrito is used as a base for beans, stews, rices, and other dishes, including ropa vieja and picadillo. Other secondary components include, but are not limited to, tomato sauce, dry white wine, cumin, bay leaf and cilantro. There really are so many variations!
Shrimp is used in many Cuban recipes, mojo shrimp being one of the popular recipes, as well as shrimp in a tomato-coconut sauce. I decided to make a combination and go with the sofrito mixed with coconut milk to give a creamier consistency to the tangy tomato sauce. I am glad I did!
This recipe cooks within minutes. The shrimp thaw easily and quickly (if using frozen shrimp), and is one of the fastest-cooking proteins. You can make the sauce and cook the shrimp while the rice is cooking and have a meal on the table in under 30 minutes!