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Achiote paste - recado rojo

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I followed a recipe to make this from scratch and could not get the anatto seeds ground finely enough. I was using a spice grinder and the seeds mostly flew around. I think I needed a mortar and pestle to get them broken.
Can I buy this stuff ready to use in any local stores? There must be some, but I want to avoid a goose-chase all over Austin to find it.

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  1. Yes, you can get achiote paste at Fiesta. Its at the back end of the international food aisles close to where the seafood dept and the meat dept. meet. They carry a couple of brands. I get the one with the picture of the woman on the front. It comes in a little brick. Drop it in the blender with some Seville orange juice (Fiesta sells them as Naranja Agria). You can also get your banana leaves at Fiesta for $0.99 a lb.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Homero

      Ah Fiesta - why didn't I think of that?
      Thanks a lot!!

    2. Instead of the brick you can buy ground annatto seeds at Fiesta. It's dirt cheap...$0.99 for a 2 oz bag. You can then make your own achiote marinade. It's on the same aisle as the bricks...at least at the Stassney location.

      5 Replies
      1. re: achtungpv

        Might as well post my recipe for achiote since I made it this weekend...

        1/2 bag (1 oz) of ground annatto seeds
        1 tsp salt
        1 tsp black pepper
        1 tsp cumin
        1/2 tsp allspice
        1/2 tsp clove
        2 garlic cloves
        1 cup of Goya sour orange juice
        juice of 1 lemon
        1 habanero
        splash of tequila
        blend and marinate overnight. It's great with chicken also if you don't want to make puerco pibil.

        1. re: achtungpv

          Looks good! That is fairly close to mine, except I add cinnamon, roasted garlic and a non-traditional indian spice called amchur (green mango powder), omit the tequila and habanero and sub lime for the lemon.

          Also, after the cochinita is cooked, I reduce the drippings and add fresh orange juice to it to sweeten it up and re-incorporate some of it to the shredded cochinita. For heat, I add slivers of serrano pepper to the pickled red onions.

          I'm gonna give your recipe a try though!

          1. re: Homero

            I usually use the Fonda San Miguel recipe that's on Robert Rodriguez's 10 Minute Cooking School video that can be found on youtube. The above recipe was a result of being too lazy to boot up the laptop and look it up so I did it from memory. It turned out better than usual, IMHO.

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            Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
            2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

          2. re: achtungpv

            How do you prepare your chicken? I've only done it with braised pork (banana leaves and all that).

            Also, my blade coffee grinder (used only for spices) grinds the seeds into powder with no problem.

            1. re: tummoi

              I actually grill the chicken. Usually as a kebob so that I've got more coverage of the marinade on the meat and then stuff the grilled chicken in homemade tortillas with a habanero salsa and avocado. I usually make the chicken version since my wife is unfortunately not a pork fan.

        2. Central Market has it, too.

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          Central Market
          4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745