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Aromatic bases: mirepoix, soffritto, sofrito, duxelles, holy trinity and others!

Do you make or use any of these or others? I'm sure some such bases exist in cuisines from other parts of the world. (mmm, ginger)

I was making chile and threw in some of a base I had made, mostly like a mirepoix but I also added finely chopped mushrooms. I do find they add a depth of flavour. I did add finely-chopped flatleaf parsely, but at the end. A friend violently hates cilantro.

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  1. I almost always have a bit of sofrito (the Caribbean one) around, and lately have been using Trini "green seasoning", which is uncooked, and has a lot of cilantro flavor.

    This one has a whole "BUNDLE" of celery! (see mirepoix thread)

    http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/200...

    1. All of the above, as you mentioned it's a "base" to me it's the foundation on which other flavors stand upon. I use mirepoix and soffrito most often. Sofrito and holy trinity occasionally as I really don't like bell peppers. I've never thought of duxelles in the same category but I saute mushroom and/or stems with herbs and oil at least once a day probably. We're freaks for fungus around here.

      9 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I guess duxelles is a somewhat different category, but I do often use finely-chopped mushrooms, especially the stems, or if I have some slightly dried-out mushrooms in the fridge, in a mirepoix or soffritto type base. It doesn't suit all foods - what does? - but certainly adds depth of flavour to mushroom-friendly ones.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Agreed. These are the building blocks of a dish flavor wise

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            When you say you don't like bell peppers, do you mean green bell peppers? I am not a fan either, but I do like red or yellow or orange sweet peppers and they make a nice substitution for the green ones. I also think poblano are better than your typical green bell pepper.

            1. re: Springhaze2

              Yea, green bell peppers mostly. I actually enjoy them if a dish is supposed to taste predominantly of peppers but not in anything else. I like red peppers on occasion but not yellow orange, all too sweet-ish for me. It sounds crazy but I have a low sweet threshold especially with veggies.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I agree with the green peppers. There are some dishes I make that star green peppers and I love them. (particularly a Hungarian pepper and pork dish with potatoes). On the other hand, I usually substitute red peppers for green in a soffrito or Cajun style trinity.

                1. re: Springhaze2

                  +1 on the green peppers- they really tend to take over a dish.

              2. re: Springhaze2

                Would "Cubanelle" type peppers (pale green with thin flesh) be better than green bell peppers? I find them much easier to digest - have a hard time digesting green bell peppers. Or some long kind similar to red Hungarian or Portuguese "horn" peppers?

                1. re: lagatta

                  Or Anaheim, they are as mild as Cubanelle.

                  1. re: lagatta

                    I substitute seeded cubanelles or Poblanos for green bell peppers.

              3. I use most of these, especially the mirepoix, which I roast in the oven and then puree it and keep it in a jar refrigerated with a splash of olive oil over the top. It's been mentioned on Chow quite a few times. I use it for everything.

                1 Reply
                1. ginger garlic paste
                  the trinity
                  mirepoix

                  those are my most used

                  1 Reply
                  1. I started a thread a few years ago about mirepoix vs. sofrito that got a fairly balanced response. I favor sofrito that is a Uruguay-Puerto Rico hybrid - I use sweet peppers but not cilantro. I think it lends itself to adding more "heat" to a dish than mirepoix, and I often like some heat. Mushrooms are a definite plus with either.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Veggo

                      Does your part-Uruguayan sofrito include flatleaf parsely, as chimichurri does? I believe cilantro is not so popular in Argentina and Uruguay?

                      1. re: lagatta

                        I make my chimichurri with flat leaf parsley, but I never use parsley in sofrito. I don't use parsley or cilantro in cooked preparations. Cilantro is far more popular in Central America and Mexico, with the exception of the Argentinian restaurants in Mexico City.

                      2. re: Veggo

                        Only slightly off topic...

                        Recently, I was doing some shopping in Sarasota and I missed the turn off for the shopping center I needed. I turned into the next shopping center when a small sign caught my eye. It listed the names of the stores at the spur of the shopping center, one of which was "Sofrito Mama." It was lunch and I was hungry so I figured any restaurant that called itself by the cornerstone of Puerto Rican cooking was worth a try. Success! If you're ever in Sarasota and looking for a great hole in the wall, give this place a try.

                        http://sofritomamas.com/

                        1. re: Indy 67

                          Cool, and cool name! Not far from me, I'll make a note to try it, thanks Indy!

                          1. re: Veggo

                            I've eaten lunch there twice. Both times I had their delicious Cuban sandwich. The pork in the sandwich is cut from the roast pork they sell as a platter; I believe that sofrito is used to prepare the roast.

                            The second lunch, I shared a decadent wonderful piece of their Tre Leches cake.

                            1. re: Indy 67

                              I'm sold! Most local Cuban sandwiches include deli cold cuts. Thanks again.