Cinnamon has a spicy history. Wars were fought over trading rights and Ancient Romans paid more for cinnamon than its weight in gold!
Fresh cinnamon sticks from World Spice Merchants at Pike Place!
It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for its warming qualities to provide relief at the beginning of a cold or flu, especially when mixed in tea with fresh ginger.
Today everybody’s spice rack has a jar of ground cinnamon lying around. It’s a must for all those recipes that are oh-so-American from apple pie to cinnamon rolls to snicker doodles. We love our cinnamon!
But it’s not only used for sweets. It flavors all TYPES of foods from Greek eggplant moussaka and spicy Indian curries to Mexican hot chocolate and Middle Eastern pastries. Cinnamon adds a warming touch to Garam Masala, a spice mix with cloves, cardamom and cumin used in finishing vegetables and meat dishes.
I also love it in couscous dishes and even in a sultry Spiced Vinaigrette on a salad. Cinnamon Scented Basmati Rice will change how you cook rice forever!
One thing to remember ground cinnamon only lasts for about 6 months, and cinnamon sticks stay fresh for about a year. Keep your spice jars tightly sealed and in a cool spot.
Keep things spicy with a hint of cinnamon! – Kathy
Makes 1 cup
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 tsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
Combine vinegar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, spices, and salt in mixing bowl, whisking well.
Gradually whisk in olive oil, emulsifying the dressing. Whisk in minced ginger. Let sit 8 hours or longer before using.
Store extra dressing refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com
Cinnamon Scented Basmati Rice
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
3 Tbsps. butter
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced onion
1 cinnamon stick, cracked in half
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Small pinch cayenne
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1 1/2 tsp. minced lemon (or lime) zest
2 Tbsps. cream
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsps. thinly sliced chives
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Place the very well-drained rice in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
Melt the butter in a nonstick or heavy saucepan. Add the onion and cinnamon stick and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the cayenne, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, cream, and salt, and bring to a boil.
Stir the mixture into the rice, being sure to scrape up and include all the goodies. Seal tightly with foil and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving, then fold in the chives.
Recipe adapted from Dishing with Kathy Casey Cookbook.