© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Chocolatl, adapted from Time/Life Foods of the World.
Corvina is similar to sea bass. You can use any firm white fish in this dish. You can also substitute 1½ drained, chopped canned tomatoes for the fresh.
3 tablespoons annatto oil, divided (see below)
2 large onions, thinly sliced, divided
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped, divided
2 fresh hot red or green chiles, seeded and cut into ⅛-inch strips, divided
½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic, divided
½ teaspoon dried oregano, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided, or to taste
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
3 pounds sea bass cut into ½-inch steaks
Heat 1 tablespoon annatto oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over moderate heat, tipping pot to spread oil across the bottom. Spread half the onion slices, tomatoes, and chili strips in the hot oil. Sprinkle with half the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Lay fish steaks on top of vegetable mixture. Cover with remaining vegetables and seasonings. Drizzle remaining annatto oil over top. Cover and simmer over low heat until fish is opaque and firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
To make annatto oil, heat ½ cup vegetable oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in ¼ cup annatto (achiote) seeds. Stir for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and strain. This will keep several months if tightly covered and refrigerated, but it will lose flavor as it ages.