March 13, 2007

ARROZ CON POLLO WITH RECADO ROJO!


My choice of spice this week is Annatto seeds and powder which is Mexican spice to naturally color the dishes with beautiful red.I am posting a dish made with Annatto/Achiote powder to Kalyn's "Weekend Herb Blogging" and this week it's Becky from "Key Lime and Coconut"'s turn to host.Thank you Becky.


Annatto Seeds and Achiote/Annatto powder:

Annatto is a product of the Achiote trees of tropical regions of the Americas,used to produce a red food coloring. Annatto is commonly found in Latin America and Caribbean cuisines as both a coloring agent and for flavoring.Central and South American Natives used the seeds to make a body paint, and lipstick.For this reason, the Achiote is sometimes called the lipstick-tree!The annatto seeds dye the mixture red, and this gives the meat or vegetables it seasons a distinctive red hue.
Annatto powder is used in the dishes to give them a color just as we use Turmeric and Saffron in Indian cuisine.Annatto powder is my new found herb and I am thrilled to post this info and a dish made using Annatto spice mix "Recado Rojo".More info at WIKIPEDIA.


Arroz Con Pollo with Recado Rojo:Serves two


Arroz Con Pollo literally means " Rice with Chicken",a delicious one pot Mexican dish.I have made slight changes and made this dish using red powder or Achiote spice mixture called Recado Rojo mixed with Japanese Panko breadcrumbs for crunch and made yellow rice which is cooked with little Recado Rojo and Pimientos for that beautiful color. I served this dish with slices of Avocado and some Salsa! YUM!!:))

What is Recado Rojo?
Recado rojo or achiote paste means "Red paste" is a popular blend of spices from Mexico.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.Info from WIKI.


This is how I make Recado Rojo powder:


Mix 1 tsp annatto powder,2 tsp cumin seeds powder,1 tsp dried oregano,1 tsp allspice powder,1/4 tsp salt,2 tsp garlic powder,1 tbsp Onion powder and 1 tsp chilli flakes or powder and store in a bottle.(Add 2 tbsp lime juice if you are making a paste)




Arroz Con Pollo, my way:



Take a boneless skinless Chicken breast and slice it across to make two thinner fillets.Add 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs for crunch to 1 tbsp spice powder and spread on a plate.Press the chicken until evenly coated.




Heat a pan,drizzle some oil or butter and cook the chicken both sides until done.Repeat with the other fillet as well.





How to make Yellow Rice:


Yellow rice which is a spanish rice dish colored by the same Recado Rojo spice mixture and cooked with some Pimiento.This is how I made this rice dish to serve with Chicken.(Yellow rice is also made with Saffron traditionally,but I added some Annatto spice mix)


How to make yellow rice:
Cook 1 cup long grain rice with enough water and 1/2 tsp Recado Rojo spice mixture and 1/4 tsp Turmeric for color and flavor until done as you make it in your way.When done fluff the rice with a fork,add 2 tbsp chopped bottled Pimientos,few cilantro leaves and adjust the salt.Add lemon juice only if you used the powder instead of paste.There you are,a perfect side dish for Mexican Chicken!!:))


Serve with Avocado slices and some salsa on top and enjoy the beautiful Arroz Con Pollo, my style!!:)




Achiote Plant and pod:(pics from Wikipedia)






A fruiting branch showing seed pod.










Half of a seed pod showing seeds inside.

47 comments:

Sushma said...

Thats such a wonderful looking dish Asha. I had never heard about this spice/herb..and now I also want to try this lipstick-tree :-)

Asha said...

HAHAHA!! Lipstick tree is funny, Sushma.This dish is a striking combination of colors.I am happy I found a alternate natural red powder instead of artificial food color!:)

Sig said...

Great post as usual Asha. I think the Achiote plant is in India too, I think I have seen this fruit(at least the same family) in Kerala. I am trying to remember the name, and it is not coming to me. I don't think we used it in cooking though! The dish looks amazing with the red color!

Sharmi said...

Asha honey , the names were literally a tongue twister to read dear:) I kept laughing while pronouncing it hehehehe.....
anyways nice article!! just kidding dear dont take it to heart,
Btw one personal question, how do you manage to comment in almost all the million blogs dear? I see your name in all the blogs I visit. made me smile.
You are great. really man how do you do it. lot of time needed for that.

Anh said...

Asha! Can I pls have one plate of Arroz Con Pollo? It looks so nice!

Sia's corner said...

our neighbours had this achiote tree in their backyard and we kids used to colour our nails with these seeds. never knew that this can be used as colouring agent. thanks for the info ashakka:) next time when i go india i will get them for free;) he he...
lovely colour. red and yellow used to be my sister's n my fav colour while growing up:)

Asha said...

Hi Sig,it's true that we have seen all these trees and shrubs in India and we never eat them!Same with Tomatillos,my husband said it grows like weed in India and nobody eats them.Here I have to pay to get them!:D I love the color of Annatto,it's natural too.

Hi Sharmi,they are all Spanish names which I am somewhat familiar now beacause my daughter takes it school!:)I love it.
About comments,I send the kids off to school,get some coffee and go thru' my blog roll for an hr in the mornings.I have a super fast broadband,so it's easy peasy!;D Once I am done,I do the rest of my work and relax!!

Asha said...

Anh,yes you may!!:)) It was great,our last night's dinner.Panko bread crumbs is not traditional Mexican addition but I wanted some crunch!

Really!! See there are lots of similarities between India and tropical countries.Tell your sister so she can use as coloring for dishes provided you are sure it is Achiote tree.I might have seen it too in the estates but don't know about it!:))
Kids have half day school today and Trisha has dentist appointment,busy day for me!..sigh..

Linda said...

Hi Asha, colorful dishes look great, especially with that avocado... yum! Waiting for the Wednesday buffet at FH now! ;)

Kalyn said...

Great post! This is a plant I didn't know much about, although I did eat a dish very similar to this once in Puerto Rico. I've seen this paste sold in cubes similar to bouillon cubes; I'll have to try it.

Asha said...

Hi Linda,Thanks.It was great,we loved it.Natural red coloring rocks!
FH is already up and I changed the template.You might be able get in there now hopefully!:))

Hi Kalyn,I am loving your WHB!!I am searching for unique herbs and spices these days and finding them too.This Annatto has brilliant color.You can get the seeds and in powder form in McCormick brand spices.Hope you try!:)

Sia's corner said...

oh yes...i am sure its the same tree... and my sister and cooking? its like water and oil... she is busy hogging amma's food and making me J:(

USHA said...

Hi Ashaji,

Asusual lovely dishes from you...First i was looking at it with starange look..what is this i never heard..
After Supriya's comment i can recall now,i remember now...i think most of Indan kids have similar qualities..See even me and cousins use it to colour our nails..when we visit our granny's illage...nostalgic...

Asha said...

HAHAHA!! You are better than her then!;) Tell your mom ,you just throw one single seed in the dish,you don't need any paprika anymore!;D

Hi Usha,I think we all have the similar memories and background growing up in India!!:) My kids don't have advantage but they have different experiences which we never have.Life,isn't it?
What I thought I found was not a find at all for some of us!:D:D

Mishmash ! said...

U used achiote seeds as colouring agent in food, i never ever thought of such a thing when we used it as a colouring agent to redden our plams when we used to visit my father;s house :))) ur site is almost like a wikipedia for me thse days :)

Shn

Richa said...

great post Asha.never heard of this spice, you do make a variety of stuff!!

Pinki said...

Hi Asha, very innovative dish, and colors are also very attractive..I wont skip this recipe to put it on my to-cook list.Keep up the good work.Btw where did u get this mexican herb from?

Anonymous said...

hi asha
seen this plant in india in my grand mother's house in kerala.thanks for the information.

shalini

Asha said...

I know shn,everybody is telling me now and I thought it was a flower ground to a paste!:D Soth Americans make a paste out of this and use it in the dishes.It has beautiful light aroma and the color is vibrant.Hope you try now for cooking than as a henna:))

Thank you Richa.It's fun to discover new herbs and spices thru' this event.I love to experiment!:))

Asha said...

Hi Pinki,hope you do try this dish.You can get this in seeds and as powder in any grocery store spice section or International section.Brand is McCormick,not a rare spice,easy to get it!:)

Hi Shalini,good to see you.You are welcome.
Yeah,everybody is telling me now!:))Even Tomatillos grow like weed in India,did you know that? and we never cook with them,what a waste?!:D

swapna said...

wow ashaji
u are making us learn about lot of things which we don't know..thanku.the yellow rice looks beautiful.

Creativecook said...

Ooh, this looks so beautiful. The food, and, the pictures. Maybe, I should use this color next time I make tandoori.

Asha said...

Hi Swapna, I am learning lot of things everyday by visiting all of you gals.It's a pleasure!:))
Thanks and use that pd to give red color to the dishes.

Hi S!You are right!Gives a beautiful red color to Tandoori.That's exactly what I was thinking too!:))It's amost like beet color and pungent smell too.Hope you post dishes made with these:))

Sig said...

Asha, I got the mallu name of this fruit from my sister, she has a great memory. It is called "Kurangu Mylanchi" in Kerala, meaning Monkey's Henna :-)

Asha said...

HAHAHA!!! Thanks Sig!It's 7.20am and I just read this and laughed!:))
"Monkey's Henna",I always remember that girl,thanks to your sister!;D

Jyothsna said...

I'm dumbstuck! Asha, you are an encyclopaedia!

Deepak Gopi said...

Here people use some colours to give red to food items.It is really an informative post.Good day :)

Sandeepa said...

Lovely Post Asha. Thanks for enlightening, didn't know about all these. Hope to try some day

Asha said...

Thanks J!! One more Avatar for me!;D

Hello Deepak,many people told me that now!Glad I found this colorful seed.Thank you:))

Sandeepa, I am glad to enlighten you girl!!;P
But unfortunately or fortunately,many south Indians are already knew about this spice!HAHA to me!!

A Little Light said...

i love the way u have played with the colours! :))

Asha said...

Hi dr,thanks. Isn't that dish beautiful? Very pretty colors,I love it!:))

Susan said...

Thank you so much for featuring Annatto seeds. I've read a bit about them, but you gave great insight and suggestions for cooking with them. What an amazing color!

Kajal said...

Hi Asha,
As I wish you always have lots of information and good recipe and excellent post. I also try some rice dish. I like natural color which we use in recipe. Good option of color. Thank you for good idea. Good day.:)

Asha said...

Hi Susan,you are welcome.I love it too.We usually use Kashmiri chilli pd for cooking with little heat in it.Annatto is sweet and little pungent with great color.Glad I found this,hope you try too!:)

Thanks Kajal.This event makes me search for new spices and herbs!:)Hope you get some of these,fabulous for Tandoori veggies!

Helene said...

Thanks for introducing a new and colourful spice to us. Have to look where I can get it here.
Your chicken looks great.

Helene said...

Thanks for introducing a new spice to me. I like cooking with colours, perhaps I can find it here somewhere.

A Yunus said...

Asha,

That was a wonderful entry...and moreover the recipe and the info are all very very new to me...It's surprising to see someone exlporing with newly found edibles and posting it wonderfully too...wow....great one...now my search list shud include this lipstick...ofcourse to colour t food!! :)

A Yunus said...

Asha,

I had forgotten to raise a doubt though....Saffron and turmeric when added, gives a pleasant color and a unique flavor too....does this powder have any fragrance or smell? how strong is that?

Menu Today said...

Hi Asha,
Thanks for the info. I never heard about this spice. Thanks

Asha said...

Thanks Helene.They are easy to get in any supermarket in the spice section.Hope you do get it:)

Hi AY!Good to see you here.Thanks.
Annatto powder does not have a strong smell at all,but very slight pungent taste and smell.It does give great color but it doesn't give any flavor to the dish.You use only a very small amount of this powder of course.Hope you try:)

You are welcome MT,hope you get it there where you live:)

Seena said...

Great work Asha! How did you learn all these cooking using several different types of ingredients? This Achiote Plant is common in our place but no body uses it.But it is used for acne treatment..
Really appreciate your work on encouraging all new bloggers..
thanks a lot Asha dear..

Asha said...

Hi Seena,thanks.Well..I have two US born kids who are not into Indian food that much.So I experiment a LOT!It's great to know other cuisines as well:))

Mocha said...

ASha:
SO this is what is Annnato seeds. Are they the same plant as I have seen in India. We used open it and meake mehndi designs on our hands. The recipe I used said Uses annato Oil or Saffron. Safforn was kinda second choice. I read three recipes and elimated what I didnt have to make my version. The tomato paste gave mine the red color. ur presentation though is zillion times better.

Asha said...

Mocha, Indians do have these trees at home, that's the one you are talking about!!
Here, you get it in supermarket Spanish section, either in seeds or in powder form too.It's natural color, very red instead of Saffrony. I use it when I need reddish tinge to the dish.Glad you got to know, use it next time! Enjoy!:)

l said...

I remember seeing a red velvet cake colored with annatto in one of your blog posts, but searched both the blogs and couldn't find it. Am I mistaken?

Asha said...

Hello I, I have a Beet, chocolate and Coconut cake at Foodieshope, not with Annatto though, guess adding that would make it even more vibrant. Here it is:

http://foodieshope.blogspot.com/2006/12/beet-coconut-chocolate-cake-and-meme.html

Rue Kasandra Meadows said...

This dish taste really delicious! I used rico corn rice as my yellow rice and its compliment really well.