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Old 08-27-2006, 02:34 AM   #1
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Achiote..Poor Mans Saffron



the colarado indians used it to colour their hair..the mexicans use the paste to marinate their carne asada..the cubans use it in many chicken dishes and soups...has a real pungent taste and adds a beautiful colour to any dish...and is very cheap..

you can use the seeds or grind them up in a paste...another way is to infuse oil with the paste mix...

used more in the orient..in baracoa you can by packets of the paste at the markets..

http://www.cubamaniaks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1809

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Old 08-27-2006, 07:46 AM   #2
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Widely used in Venezuelan cooking too.
Plus it's used to colour cheese!
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:11 AM   #3
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In the Philippines, it's called achuete. (I think it's called annato in English?)There's no taste that I can tell and it's mainly used for it's wonderful orange coloring. It is essential in some popular Filipino dishes like Kare-kare, pancit palabok, sotanghon. Another application is to add the achuete-infused oil to fried rice to make it more appetizing to the eye.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:42 AM   #4
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afaik, in the u.s. the seeds are called annatto, the ground seeds or oil flavored by the seeds are called achiote or achiote oil, respectively.

i just made an achiote oil recently, then browned some chicken pieces before making arroz con pollo. the chicken and rice took on a really nice color from the seeds, and had a slightly nutty flavor.

thanks for the info and link grommet.

hmmm, i just looked it up and apparently true annato is just a dye or food coloring made from the pulp that surrounds the seed. the seeds themselves are called achiote.
but both terms are fairly interchangeable tho.
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:35 PM   #5
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Poor man's saffron is actually tumeric as it's much closer in color to saffron than annatto. With that being said, I love to use annatto to color and flavor both rice and oil.
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Old 08-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #6
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There's also something in the Philippines called kasubha that they use like saffron except without any flavor.
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:48 PM   #7
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Annato seeds are one of the ingredients in "achiote paste" which is a popular seasoning in Mexican kitchens. The seeds can be purchased whole or ground and the paste can be made from any one of a number of different recipes. I purchase the paste at a Mexican grocery store, combine it with orange and lime juice and coat a Boston butt roast, wrap it in banana leaves and slowly roast it. This is a great variation on "Cochinita Pibil" which is one of Bob's favorite pork dishes. I do have the annato seeds and plan to grind my own achiote paste one of these days - right now it's easier to use the paste already made.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:17 PM   #8
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I buy the whole Annato seeds (Achiote Entero) and steep them in oil for rice dishes. I've heard it's better to use olive oil, but I use canola so it doesn't separate in the ice box. I've had a can of paste in the cupboard for a long time and but don't know if I'll get around to using it.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:54 PM   #9
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I am thinking of getting out the achiote paste and going to the mercado for banana leaves, a big ol' pork roast and all the fixin's for cochinita pibil for Sunday's bbq. yummmmm!
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
I am thinking of getting out the achiote paste and going to the mercado for banana leaves, a big ol' pork roast and all the fixin's for cochinita pibil for Sunday's bbq. yummmmm!
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't disparaging the use of achiote paste, but rather confessing to an area of ignorance. Same is true for banana leaves even though they are available almost across the street. Do you have a Pibil recipe you recommend?
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