Classic Sofrito

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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3 garlic cloves
kosher salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 or 3 Scotch bonnet chiles, with some seeds, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro


On a cutting board, mince the garlic, then mash it together with a large pinch of salt. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion and chiles. Cook over low heat until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook over moderately high heat until the juices have evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and let cool.

The sofrito can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. It is excellent used in stews and soups.

Recipe by Eric Ripert, Food & Wine Magazine, November 2002.