Achiote paste or Recado rojo or is a popular blend of spices from Mexico used to season meat or vegetables. Originally a Mayan blend, it is now strongly associated with the Mexican cuisine of Yucatan.
The spice mixture usually includes annatto, Mexican oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic, and salt. The annatto seeds dye the mixture red, and this gives the meat or vegetables it seasons a distinctive red hue.
- ¼ cup annatto seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 Cloves of garlic, peeled
- ½ cup bitter orange juice or 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- Using a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder, grind the dry spices
- Peel and crush the garlic, mix with the salt, ground spice mix and orange juice and mix to a smooth paste.
- Rub the mixture onto chicken, pork or fish and marinate in a cool place for 4-6 hours then cook as you would normally.
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