Making Achiote Paste with a Magic Bullet Blender

I bought this blender a while back and was going to do a gadget post on it but didn’t.  I’ve used it to grind dried peppers and it does a good job on them.  The achiote paste recipes I linked to in the last post reminded me that I had a small jar of annatto seeds that are the main ingredient.
I decided I would be bothered, afterall.It did a nice job on the seeds and the other dry ingredients in this recipe from Bon Appetit.  It took a minute or two.  The bay leaves were resistant but they finally went under. I doubled the recipe because I had a half cup of seeds.I opted to finish it with the vinegar, garlic cloves, and zests in this small processor. Its lid has the little drizzle holes to add liquids and I judged that it would be a bit easier to clean.  The paste came out a little dry so I added the juice of the lemon and lime I zested for the recipe. It is a little looser than the store bought paste but I see no problem there.

Little Chopper

I was working in the kitchen tonight and I pulled out one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.   It’s a little, 1-cup food processor.  It’s great for so many things and clean-up is a breeze.  It only has three parts to clean: cup, lid and blade.  The best part is I only paid fifty cents for it at Habitat for Humanity’s Thrift Store.  I was there looking for a 4-cup carafe for my coffee pot (hard to find) and bought the chopper on impulse, not really expecting to use it much.

It has surprised me in its versatility.   I can shred a cup of carrots, a bunch of green onions, chop nuts and puree a variety of sauces in it.  I have never used a full-sized food processor,  I find them cumbersome to use, clean and especially store.  I prefer my blender, but despite its many speeds, it is limited in its abilities.   My little mini-chopper fills my chopping needs.  I’m not sure if they make them anymore, but I believe they are worth the investment – of course maybe you’ll get lucky and find one for fifty cents at a summer yard sale.