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Originally published Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 6:05 AM

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Recipe: Recado Rojo

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Makes one cup

This rich, red paste is a classic seasoning in Mexico and Central America. It gets its bold color from achiote seeds (also called annatto) and deep flavor from a blend of oregano, ancho chili powder and cumin. Use it on chicken, fish, pork or even stirred into stews.

2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic

¼ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch salt

1. In a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, combine the achiote, cumin, oregano, chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, allspice and peppercorns. Toast, stirring constantly, until just fragrant, about two minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind until reduced to a fine powder. Transfer to a food processor or blender and add the onion, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar and salt. Process until smooth.

2. Transfer to a bowl and use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to a week.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 35 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 1 g protein; 25 mg sodium.

J.M. Hirsch, The Associated Press

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