If you're not familiar with Achiote (Bixa orellana), it's probably because you've only seen it used as a natural food coloring, annato. Achiote was introduced to the Americas by the Spanish early in the 17th century, and was quickly adopted by pretty much every one since. It's a small, deep red, inedible fruit, that contains an oily seed that is pressed or boiled to extract its flavors.
Apart from its characteristic deep red color, Achiote is appreciated for its bitter, pungent taste, akin to some types of mustard. You can find it in any Hispanic grocery store. Hell, I found it in France, so it shouldn't be a problem.
|This is it. You will most likely find it in paste form.|
|Remember, annato is used as a coloring. The stains NEVER come off|
Take 6 large poblano peppers and fire-roast them carefully until they're completely blackened and blistered, taking care not to over burn any of the flesh. Dunk them in an ice water bath and, as soon as they're cool to touch, peel them carefully and set them aside. This can be done up to 48 hours ahead. Whole peppers can be frozen for 3 months.
|Sometimes, you may find these frozen whole. These are acceptable substitutes|
|Under no circumstances are you allowed to buy them canned.|
While the chiles cool, take 3 plantains. Plantains are not bananas, but a close ancestor of the ubiquitous Cavendish variety we eat every day. They are much tougher than bananas and taste like sweet potatoes when they ripen. You need these to look like they're spoiled, otherwise they will taste no diferent than starchy potatoes
|I know they look like turds, but trust me, they're delicious|
|See that lovely flesh? not turd-like at all|
|I read somewhere that this is called "Fru-fru" in some places in Africa... WTF?|
|I know what you're thinking, you perv... ¬¬|
Make sure your packets are perfectly sealed and place them on a hot skillet over a medium flame for 15-20 minutes. Test for doneness by pricking with a toothpick, the fish should be soft. If your packets are not tightly sealed, all the liquid will boil and escape and burn and you'll look like an asshole. You don't want that, do you?
Crohn. This is vital. Crohn brings the whole thing together.
Steamed Catfish Pibil with Pickled Radish and Plantain-stuffed Poblanos (Pescado Pibil con Escabeche de Rábano y Chiles Poblanos rellenos de Plátano Macho)
For the fish:
6 banana leaves
6 large basa fillets
30g achiote paste
1 Tbsp thinck tomato paste
1 cup orange juice
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Lots of Crohn
For the peppers:
6 large poblano peppers, roasted and cleaned
3 medium ripe plantains, chopped
2 Tbsps unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
12 oz chevre
- Start by blending the achiote, OJ, tomato paste, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set this aside.
- Boil the plantains in salted water for 20 minutes, drain and mash with butter and milk. Adjust seasoning to taste
- Stuff the peppers with 3 Tbsps of plantain puree and 2 oz of goat cheese each, set aside.
- Lay your fish fillet on a banana leaf. Douse with the Recaudo Rojo and roll. Fold the banana leaf over the fish and wrap the whole thing tightly in aluminum foil
- Grill the packets for 20 minutes over a medium flame
- Serve topped with abundant Crohn
- Be FUCKING AWESOME
- And, for the love of Odin, leave a comment!