8.07.2011

What is Recaito?

Last week I snagged a huge bunch of cilantro from a neighbor's garden. (They gave it to me, I didn't steal it, I assure you.)
I contemplated making recaito, a cilantro-based seasoning/cooking base that I thought was made with cilantro, peppers, garlic and onions.
Hoping to find a simple list of ingredients on the Goya recaito label that I could just whip together in a food processor, I was surprised not to see cilantro on the list:

Water, coriander, dehydrated onions, green peppers, modified food starch, soybean oil, salt, sweet peppers, garlic powder, monosodium glutamate, flour, citric acid, oregano.

Upon further research, I discovered that the coriander listed as the second ingredient is code for cilantro. Cilantro is the spanish word for coriander leaves, and coriander (as I knew it in culinary terms) is the dried seed. Mystery solved.

To make a long story short, I still didn't have green peppers, so I made the recaito without it, which really is not recaito at all, but still a great cilantro-based seasoning.

Really Not Recaito

1 large bunch cilantro (or shall we call it coriander leaves?)
1 onion, quartered
1 garlic clove (I used two and it was too much)
1 small lime, juiced
salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Use fresh, or freeze in an ice cube tray and pop one or two cubes into soups, stews, or rice to add flavor.

This seasoning would taste great on chicken, rice, or beans. I added to beans and it was delicious!
Question of the Day: Which cilantro camp do you belong to: the lovers or the haters? There seems to be no in between when it comes to cilantro...

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