The First Book
by Rita Dove
Go ahead, it won't bite.
Well...maybe a little.
More a nip, like. A tingle.
It's pleasurable, really.
You see, it keeps on opening.
You may fall in.
Sure, it's hard to get started;
Remember learning to use
knife and fork? Dig in:
You'll never reach the bottom.
It's not like it's the end of the world-
just the world as you think
you know it.
The recipe posted today called for coriander. It is a spice I have not used before. Of course that led to a bit of research to demystify the ingredient. Some things I learned were surprising as coriander has more uses than just for cooking.
Coriander also known as cilantro, Chinese parsley or dhania. It is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Like other spices coriander is available throughout the year providing a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage. The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds which, when dried, are the portions used as the dried spice. When ripe, the seeds are yellowish-brown in color with longitudinal ridges.
Coriander seeds are available whole or in ground powder form. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Coriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice.
Coriander is used in lentils, beans, onions, potatoes, hot dogs, chili, sausages, stews and pastries. It is used in North American, Mediterranean, North African, Mexican, Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, as well as in spice blends including curry powders, chili powders, garam masala, and berbere.
It is a plant and the seed is an active ingredient in medicine. Coriander is used to treat digestion problems. It is also used to treat measles, hemorrhoids, worms, and joint pain well as infections caused by bacteria and fungus.
Cinnamon-Stewed Chicken with Spicy Roasted Coriander Rice
Cook's notes:This recipe has been adapted from mccormickgoumet.com
A prepared box of basmati rice could be substituted for the Spicy Coriander Rice
- 2 tsp, Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. coarse grind pepper
- 6 bone in chicken thighs or 2 lbs. chicken boneless breast can be substituted
- 2 TB. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 2 TB. minced garlic
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 small can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 small package dried cherries or dates
- 1 can chunky tomatoes (garlic,basil,oregano)
- Mix roasted cinnamon. salt and pepper and sprinkle both sides of the chicken
- Heat oil in large fry pan add chicken and cook 4 minutes per side or until golden brown
- Remove chicken from skillet add onions and garlic and saute about 4 minutes
- Stir in wine and bring to a boil on high and cook about 10 minutes till wine has evaporated, stirr in to loosen brown bits in bottom of skillet.
- Stir in tomato paste, broth, chunky tomatoes, dried cherries, allspice and oregano
- Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes and serve over rice-sprinkle with almonds
- 1 TB. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup dried basmati rice
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Heat oil saute onions add in roasted coriander, ginger and crushed red pepper
- Stir 30 seconds
- Add water bring to boil and add in rice, peas and salt
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 18-20 minutes