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Modernized Sofrito Chicken still has old-world taste and charm.

Old World-style recipes, have they been laid to rest? Can you even buy a recipe card?

When I was a young bride, I received at my wedding shower an entire box of hand-written family recipes, alphabetized and categorized. That old box has weathered many break ups and many moves across states and counties.

Though I didn’t really respect its significance at the time, I’ve come to appreciate its value in the wake of the food revolution and digital age. I’ve taken it out over the years, ogled and reminisced as I thumbed through the possible ideas for meals. It inspired me to frame one of Mommy’s hand written cards as a way to immortalize a cooking memory.

Old, special or even passed down from generations, recipes sometimes need a makeover — something I do with just about any recipe that already exists.

Sofrito is the secret ingredient in many Latin and Caribbean dishes. A puree of tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, onions and garlic, it’s similar to the “famous three,” that I use in almost every concoction I muster — garlic, onions, thyme or some other fresh herb I have on hand.

Every nationality has its own “claim to fame,” must-haves. Puerto Rico, where they don’t typically use tomatoes, call it “recaito” and it takes on a more pronounced green color. And this is where my version enters. Locally, we are experiencing a deluge of tomatoes. They’re tangy, firm, sweet and everything that screams home-grown. I couldn’t wait to use them. My Sofrito chicken is not an old world style meal. Puree isn’t in the cards tonight. Instead, I opted for a quick approach that still delivers a freshness and will bump this dish into the weekly rotation of meals we enjoy each week. Take advantage of the fresh local produce coming in this week. This one is a keeper.

Sofrito Chicken

Hot peppers or bell peppers, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

6 chicken tenderloins, sliced thin

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 big red tomato, cut in chunks

3 T. olive oil

1 T. Sriracha sauce

3 T. water

2 T. heavy cream

1 cup basmati rice, prepared according to package

Fresh cilantro and thyme

In a skillet, drizzle the olive oil. Over high heat, sautee the chicken for 3 minutes or until almost cooked.

Add in the garlic, onions, tomatoes and peppers two minutes.

Add the water, cream and sriracha sauce. Allow to heat through and mix.

Serve over rice and top with fresh herbs.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and was a longtime resident of Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003.

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