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Achiote Oil

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Latin America
Forum Name: Mexico and Central America
Forum Discription: Mexico and Central America
Printed Date: 18 January 2021 at 12:54

Topic: Achiote Oil
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: Achiote Oil
Date Posted: 13 July 2010 at 14:25
Achiote Oil

Aceite de Achiote

Courtesy of Daisy Martinez - Daisy Cooks!

Annatto seeds, known as achiote in Spanish, are small irregularly shaped, deep reddish colored seeds about the size of a lentil. They grow in pods but are sold loose in jars in the spice aisle. Steeping annatto (achiote) seeds in hot olive oil for a few minutes will do more than give the oil a brilliant orange-gold color; it will infuse it with a nutty, delicate aroma and add a quick kick to whatever you use it in. This incredibly simple technique will become part of your repertoire, not just for the many dishes that call for it in this book, but any time you want a splash of color and a hint of annatto flavor.

Makes about 1 cup
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds

Heat the oil and annatto seeds in a small skillet over medium heat just until the seeds give off a lively, steady sizzle. Don't overheat the mixture or the seeds will turn black and the oil a nasty green. Once they're sizzling away, pull the pan from the heat and let stand until the sizzling stops.
Strain as much of the oil as you are going to use right away into the pan; store the rest for up to 4 days at room temperature in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

In addition to using achiote oil to sauté onions, garlic and such, you can use it straight, painted onto fish and poultry headed for the grill or broiler.

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Posted By: Hoser
Date Posted: 14 July 2010 at 03:15
That's one thing I have never made or used. I'm not even sure I've ever tasted annato in anything...what are some of the recipes that call for it Ron?

Go with your food!

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 14 July 2010 at 07:04

quite a few latin recipes use it for flavour and colour - it gives and orangish tint and seems to provide a bit of depth.

one recipe off the top of my head that calls for it is anticuchos, but there are many, many more.
john should be able to provide a bit more insight into achiote oil!

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 14 July 2010 at 07:22
Achiote has a very mild taste, closely related to the earthy flavor of a sweet paprika, but much less intense. It also is used, as Ron posted, as a colorant for foods, as it gives a bright ochre color to the food it contacts. This seed is heavily used in Southern Mexican and Central American cooking as well as in the Caribbean.
Achiote is more usually combined with other spices to provide a balanced flavour and color. For example, in Mexico achiote is popular in dry blocks mixed with other seasonings to which you add a bit of vinegar to in order to form a paste which you add to the food. Even the resulting paste is mild and imparts a depth to the main flavour the cook is wanting in the particular dish. Check out this link in which I made a - Mayan Style Barbecued Pork ~ using achiote. It has an image of the package too.
Achiote oil is great for sauteeing onions, bell peppers, meats- especially pork- as part of a step in the cooking process. Not only does it impart a beautful color, but adds another dimension to the sauteed vegetable.


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