Red snapper with achiote paste

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Annato Paste
2 \N (1 lb) fillets red snapper
\N \N OR other firm-fleshed fish,
\N \N Skin on
½ cup Orange juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup Lime juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup Water
⅓ cup Onion; chopped
1 \N Habanero chile; veins & seeds removed, slivered
¼ cup Cilantro; chopped
\N \N Salt
3 tablespoons Oil, optional
1 cup Annatto (achiote) seeds
10 larges Cloves garlic
⅓ cup Quintana Roo oregano, OR
\N \N Mexican oregano
5 tablespoons Peppercorns
4 teaspoons Ground cumin
4 teaspoons Coriander seeds
10 \N Whole allspice berries
1¼ cup White vinegar, OR equal combination OF
\N \N Fresh orange juice
\N \N Fresh lime juice






Spread Annato (Achiote) Paste on both sides of fish, covering well. Place fish in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours.

In mixing bowl combine orange juice, lime juice, water, onion, habanero, cilantro and salt to taste.

Barbeque fish over hot coals, skin-side down, until seared, 2 minutes. Or heat 3 tablespoons oil in skillet large enough to acocommodate fish until very hot, then place fish in pan, skin-side down, and fry until seared, 2 minutes. Place seared fish in 1-inch deep baking dish and pour citrus-habanero sauce over. Bake until fish is firm to touch and thoroughly cooked, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

ACHIOTE PASTE (RECADO DE ADOBO COLORADO): Combine annatto, garlic, oregano, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, allspice and vinegar or juice mixture in blender or food processor. Process with on/off motion until thoroughly pureed. Add more orange juice or vinegar to give smooth paste consistency.

Keeps indefinitely, if made with vinegar, or up to 3 weeks if made with citrus juices. Makes 1½ cups.

Each serving contains about: 274 calories; 203 mg sodium; 67 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 40 grams protein; 1.86 grams fiber.

Presented by: Zarella Martinez, L.A. Times article, "Home Ground", 10/6/94, page H16. "The ricado used in this dish is the basis for many Yucatan peninsula dishes. The most famous is cochinita pibil; a suckling pig, marinated with this spice paste and wrapped in banana leaves, baked in a Mayan earth oven called a pib. Large fish and venison or other wild game are also baked in pibs. I slather this paste on guinea hens and broil them on the rotisserie, or wrap marinated chicken breasts or fish fillets in banana leaves with slices of orange and steam the packets. One of my favorite appetizers is chicken drummettes baked with this recado.

"... Quintana Roo oregano comes from a tree, not a shrub, and the long leaves turn black when they dry. Mexican oregano can be substituted for it."

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