Recently I posted my recipe for recaito.  Another one of the basics for Puerto Rican cooking is annatto oil.  As far as I know, this is not something you can buy in the store.  You can buy the seeds, but not the ready-made oil.  If I am wrong, please feel free to comment and let me know where you’ve found it.  But it’s not difficult to make.  The only thing to remember is that it WILL STAIN.  Wear something you don’t care about anymore, and if your countertop is the type that can stain, cover it carefully.  Use a pan that you no longer care about, and store it in an old Tupperware bowl that has seen better days.  Really.  I mean this.  Now, the seeds can be bought in the store in packages like this:  
Or, if you have family in Puerto Rico, you can have someone bring or send you the homegrown seeds.  They look like this:  

Truthfully, I have never tried growing them here, so I don’t know if they would or not.  I figure it’s just easier to buy them in the store, except, of course, for when relatives are going and coming from the island.  So, on to the recipe!
Annatto Oil

2 C olive oil
1/2 C annatto seeds

Heat oil in a small saucepan.  Add seeds and cook about 5 minutes over low heat.  When the oil is a rich orange color, remove from heat, let cool, strain, and pour into storage container.  Store in refrigerator.  


music to cook by

          Ruben Blades-Paula c

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )

“True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.”  - Charles Caleb Colton


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