Preparation / Directions:
This mild, citrusy red spice paste can transform the blandes of foods. It comes from the Yucatan, where it typically flavors Pibil-style suckling pig. The pig is rubbed with the recado, wrapped in banana leaves, and then cooked in a stone-lined pit until the meat is so tender it falls off the bones. Grilling is a less traditional, but no less delicious, method. Use for meat, fish, and poultry. Purchased achiote paste saves a good deal of time and makes a less complex but acceptable recado.
Put the annatto seeds and water in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower heat to simmer. Cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 2 hours, or until softened.
Pan roast the garlic and onions until brown and soft.
Drain the annatto seeds and put into a blender or food processor along with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Keeps, tightly covered, up to 5 days in the refrigerator.