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Old 08-27-2006, 01:34 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, 06:46 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, 07:11 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, 07:42 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, 12:35 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, 01:22 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, 04:48 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, 05:17 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, 05:54 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, 06:13 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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Old 08-29-2006, 06:14 PM   #11
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I've heard of annato, but never the achiote. (almost sounds like a sneeze!)
It sure does look pretty!
I was amused at you all talking about banana leaves. We don't see things like that in our markets here. You all are educating me.
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:21 PM   #12
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I have one from a Rick Bayless cookbook that I use. If I have the book here on the boat I'll post it tomorrow.

I also gave one to BJCotton and he might have it handy - so much of my stuff is packed away.
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:49 PM   #13
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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!
sounds fantastic Harborwitch having trouble getting hold of the paste here in oz...will have to order it over the web...
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:34 PM   #14
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This isn't the one from Rick Bayless. I didn't bring the right book to the boat, but this one is very good too.

Cochinita Pibil
(Pork in Banana Leaves)

* 1/2 cup achiote paste
* 8 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
* 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
* 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
* 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
* 2 ts cumin seeds
* 8 dried bay leaves
* 1/2 ts ground cinnamon
* 1 ts dried oregano
* 1 ts salt
* 2 medium white onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
* 2 ts pepper
* 1 ts Sugar
* 4 lbs. pork butt, cut in 3 inch cubes
* 5 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
* 2 Squares bitter chocolate, chopped
* 1 pound banana leaves, softened over a low flame
* 4 anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled & sliced into strips

In a medium bowl, mash together the achiote paste, garlic, citrus juices, bay leaves, cumin seeds, cinnamon, oregano, salt & pepper with a fork. Add the pork, toss evenly to coat, & marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat a dry cast iron skillet over high heat. Char the onion slices until blackened on both sides. Then char the tomato slices on both sides. Reserve.

Line a large baking dish with one layer of banana leaves. Arrange the pork in an even layer and top with charred onions, tomatoes, chilies and all marinade. Cover with banana leaves and wrap the dish tightly in foil.

Bake for at least 3 hours, or until the pork is tender and moist. Remove from oven and let site for 10 minutes. Unwrap and serve with pickled onions and white rice.

8-10 servings
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:04 PM   #15
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Harborwitch,
Thanks for the recipe!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
* 1 pound banana leaves, softened over a low flame
Can you elaborate on how to do this exactly.
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
* 1 pound banana leaves, softened over a low flame
This would be done in a pan or griddle heated to low as opposed to directly over open flame. Correct? Or is the point to actually char the leaves somewhat?
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:53 PM   #17
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I just quickly hold the leaves over the stove flame a few times until it starts to get soft but not charred. You can also acheive the same effect by putting the leaves in the microwave.
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
This would be done in a pan or griddle heated to low as opposed to directly over open flame. Correct? Or is the point to actually char leaves somewhat?
When we make "hallacas" over here, the leaves are softened on a large griddle. Never burned or charred, just wilted. I believe they're painted with a thin layer of oil previously, which is then washed off before use.
Softening the leaves with heat helps to make them more manageable; if you don't they tear and split.
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:35 AM   #19
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It is coloring, but it isn't saffron--which interestingly, is the direction the discussion went.
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:50 PM   #20
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achiote is used extensively all throughout latina america, and gives a wonderful hue to meats and rice dishes, however, it is completely devoid of any flavor that i can detect
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