Orange Slices with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Candied Ginger

Candied Spices


6 Navel Oranges, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
¼ 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

© 2008 Nina Simonds “China Express”


Quick Bites: Star Anise

Star anise is one of my favorite Chinese spices. It’s pungent, licorice-like flavor is great in savory and sweet dishes. Here are some other benefits and uses::

• Flavoring and braising spice for meats, such as a Star Anise Beef or Chicken Stew
• A digestive tea when smashed and steeped in boiling water
• Great paired with cinnamon sticks and used in such dishes as the Poached Pears in Red Wine
Smash the star with the flat side of a knife to release the flkavor.

Once only available in Asian markets, you can now buy it in the spice section of supermarkets.
Here’s wishing you a healthy, happy, and joyful new year!


Spiced Pears in Red Wine

Six Servings

Poaching Mixture:

1 bottle red wine ( French or American Merlot)

6 cups water

1 ½  cups sugar

peel of 1 orange

2 sticks cinnamon

2 stars anise*

6 slightly under- ripe Bosc pears

2 lemons, cut in half

2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger, for garnish (optional)

1. Mix the ingredients of the Poaching Mixture in a large, non-aluminum pot. Bring to boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

2. Peel the pears, leaving the stem on. Rub the surface with the cut lemons to prevent them from turning brown. Lower the pears into the poaching liquid and squeeze the juice from the lemons into the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil again, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered until pears are tender, about 40 to minutes. Test by piercing the pears with a knife. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl.

3. Strain out the seasonings (orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and star anise) and discard. Pour 3 cups of the cooking liquid into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced. Pour the syrup over the pears. Serve warm or chilled for at least 3 hours with a little syrup. Sprinkle the top with the candied ginger. The pears can be poached 1 day ahead and refrigerated.

Photo: ParichBorin@Omaruoka

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.