Package weight: 4 ounces
Also known as achiote, annatto is the seed from a shrub native to tropical America, including the Caribbean islands. It has a slightly spicy and peppery flavor, but no heat, and is known for the intense orange and red coloring it imparts to food (also to clothing, so be careful).
*Simmer in butter or oil to be used in flavoring a variety of foods; additional whole spices may be added along with the annatto seeds.
*Infuse in hot water for 15 minutes; strain and use to cook foods such as rice, couscous and beans.
*Add to homemade pickles for color and an interesting flavor.
*Use in marinades for grilled fish and meats.
RECIPE: Red Scented Oil
In a saucepan, simmer 1/4 cup WHOLE ANNATTO SEEDS for every 1 cup cooking oil over low heat for 20 minutes; stir frequently.
Remove from heat and cool in the pan before straining. Cover and keep refrigerated until use.
*Sautee meats and vegetables.
*Stir into rice and beans.
*Combine with flour to make a roux for sauces and gravies.
*Drizzle over casseroles after removing from the oven.
*Whisk into vinegar or citrus juice along with herbs and spices for salad dressings and marinades.
*Stir into mayonnaise or cream cheese for sandwich spreads and dips.
*Toss with cooked pasta.
RECIPE: Red Spice Paste
¼ cup WHOLE ANNATTO SEEDS
1 cup water
1 tablespoon MEXICAN OREGANO
1 teaspoon WHOLE BLACK PEPPERCORNS
1 teaspoon WHOLE ALLSPICE BERRY
1 teaspoon WHOLE CUMIN SEED
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Simmer the annatto seeds in the water for 15 minutes; drain.
Grind the oregano, peppercorns, allspice berry and cumin seed in a spice mill; add to the drained annatto seed along with the salt, garlic, onion and vinegar.
Place all in an electric blender or food processor. Purée until smooth, adding water a teaspoon at a time as needed. Keep in mind that you are making a paste.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.
Yield: About half a cup paste
*Smear onto any cut of meat and marinate 4 or more hours before grilling, broiling or roasting.