Video: Cinnamon from Spices of Life

Cinnamon is one of our very favorite spices, and this is our favorite video yet from Nina Simonds and Spices of Life. This very quick video will show you the difference between cinnamon, cassia bark, and Ceylon and Saigon cinnamon. Check out recipes for Chettinad Spice Powder and Orange Slices with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Candied Ginger below...

From Nina:

Fragrant, and delicious, cinnamon is a FANTASTIC spice to use in QUICK and EASY desserts (like the oranges with honey and candied ginger) or mixed with other spices in the CHETTINAD SPICE POWDER. It’s a great rub for roasted, pan-seared or barbecued meats, seafoods, and vegetables. And according to research, (and approved by the American Diabetic Association) cinnamon can help the body metabolize blood sugar. Watch the video to find out more about this great spice!

Go to the Spices of Life website for more good tips and recipes using spices. Thank you Nina!

Chettinad Spice Powder
Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Make a batch of this vibrant spice blend and use it to flavor all types seafood. (See the next recipe.) I also use it to season roasted and grilled vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, sweet potatoes and squash. It will keep for months stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.

1/4 cup dried red chilies (measuring about 2 to 3 inches long), ends trimmed and seeds removed
1/2 cup coriander seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 to 4 whole stars anise, smashed with the flat side of a kitchen knife
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, smashed with a rolling pin
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half and then smashed into bits with a rolling pin
1 to 2 whole bay leaves

1. Heat a heavy skillet or a cast iron pan and add the spices. Toast them over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon for 4 to 5 minutes until very fragrant.
2. Let cool slightly and carefully pour the spices into a spice grinder or a food processor and grind to a coarse powder, about 4 to 5 minutes. Use as directed in the recipe(s).

(c) Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Orange Slices with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Candied Ginger

Ingredients:
6 Navel Oranges, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon minced candied ginger

Arrange the orange slices side by side on a serving platter. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and candied ginger and sprinkle over the oranges. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature, and serve.

Variation: substitute grapefruit slices for the oranges

(c) Copyright Nina Simonds 2008