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Old 04-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the information guys. I've got the pot cooking now. I haven't added the Sazon yet. I put everything in that I had on hand and left out the achiote and cilantro. It smells good right now. I may taste it later. I cut back on the salt anyway since DH is supposed to watch his salt intake. I don't normally add salt to my cooking but added about half of what was called for. Now just need to cook until the lentils are done. I'm counting on about an hour from what I've read. It'll be okay if it takes longer. I figured in an hour I'll start worrying about cooking the meat and hopefully by the time that's done, the lentils will be done.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:39 PM   #12
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Too bad you don't live closer, I have some. They have kinda a nutty flavor...peppery...maybe papaya seeds could be substituted--they have kind of a peppery taste.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
The achiote she uses comes as a paste. Easy to find in Quito but not so easy in VA!
Not as difficult as you think! I've been to the Norfolk location of this restaurant/grocery store - they have all kinds of things. I bought the ingredients and made achiote paste myself.

MP Island Cafe - http://www.mpislandcafeonline.com/locations.html
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:55 PM   #14
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After cooking awhile I took a taste. Added a bit of paprika and it tastes better. I guess I'll look at other stores too. We have a large ethnic store around the corner I'll need to check.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #15
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In Puerto Rican cooking, they usually steep the annatto seeds in oil. The oil is used to flavor/color rice for various dishes. Yucatan, Cochinita pibil uses am achiote paste for this famous pork dish.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #16
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Well, DH really liked the lentil stew the way I made it so I may just sub paprika for the achiote on a regular basis. I hope to find some and try it though to see what the difference is. He went back for seconds and filled his plate both times.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:07 PM   #17
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I was going to suggest turmeric, also. It wouldn't change the flavor.


(BTW...Gesundheit!)
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #18
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I like the Goya Sazon packets, and add them to any bean, soup, or Mexican dishes I make. As Aunt Bea said, there's a lot of MSG, so beware. They do add a nice flavor, not so much color. I have a box of achiote that I got at the Mexican section of the local grocer, haven't used it yet.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:20 PM   #19
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I tell you DH put a lot of it away tonight. I made a used a pound of lentils. It was in my 5 qt. cast iron pot (nearly full) and had only about 1/3 of it left over. The yungun came home and said it looked like it needed some cheese on top. May have to try that when we do the leftovers!
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:10 AM   #20
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What you bought was a little seasoning packet of MSG and spices with a little achiote added for color. And the color is definitely there in that particular packet.

If you make it again buy actual achiote or anatto. You can buy anatto at Penzey's.
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