It's not catsup. It's not salsa. It's not a sauce. It's sazón, the Dominican mixture made from scratch with fresh whole ingredients – and it packs a punch of flavor!
Honesty here. Until ten days ago, “sazón” was an unknown to me. Not unknown as in “I wonder how to make sazón” or even “Is there a recipe for making sazón from scratch?”. Nope, none of it. Nothing. Nada.
What was known is that the Cards were winning and both baseball and Home Run Chicken had captured my attention. The easy chicken recipe comes from Deidre Pujols, wife of the St. Louis fan favorite, slugger Albert Pujols. The story goes that before every home game, Pujols tucks into a big plate of chicken baked with sazón on top – and then goes on to hit home runs.
But with every touch of the home plate (pun intended!), Pujols is also tucking into a big dose of MSG -- that’s legal in baseball but illegal in my kitchen.
Three minutes of Google search action and a recipe for Homemade Sazón was flying off the printer. (Some times, don’t we just love the Internet?!)
More honesty here. This Dominican-style Sazón is amazing!
Think “instant seasoning” made with fresh ingredients, no chemical enhancement.
Sazon isn’t a gravy to drizzle or a ketchup to squirt. It’s similar to my recipe for Chimichurri except thicker and cooked, albeit briefly; like salsa without the heat of chillis.
So far I’ve only used Homemade Sazón on my version of Home Run Chicken (what I call Champion Chicken) but my head is bursting with other ideas.
With chips like salsa. With a smear of cream cheese. Tucked into eggs or cooked rice. A dollop on a steak. A spoonful stirred into a stew. A spread for sandwiches. More ideas? Share, please!
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 2-1/2 cups
- 1 medium onion (115g), chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 8 green onions, white & green parts, chopped to yield ½ cup (50g)
- 1/2 cup (25g) parsley, leaves only
- 1/2 cup (25g) cilantro, leaves and stems
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon pimentón aka smoked paprika (what is pimentón?)
- Salt to taste
CHOP THE VEGGIES One at a time, run the onion, peppers, garlic, green onion, parsley and cilantro through a food processor (my small prep processor worked fine). Texture is important here, chop these small and fine but don’t puree. They’re done separately so each component is the right size, not one big mush.
BRIEFLY COOK To remove just a bit of the rawness, combine the chopped veggies in a saucepan with the tomato paste, olive oil and vinegar. Bring just to a simmer, stirring often, then let simmer a minute or two, stirring continuously so not to burn or stick. Season to taste.
ENJOY! Let cool, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will last several days.
ALANNA's TIPS I've included exact amounts because I found this batch of sazón so beautifully balanced. But it's not a recipe that requires exactitude. Try to find tomato paste that's 100% tomatoes, no sugar. Could we reduce the oil? Probably. But I'm so impressed by this, I'm leaving it as is.
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