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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cinnamon Marinated Fish

Cinnamon is usually thought of as a sweet spice, but it has a savory side.  In the absence of sweeteners, cinnamon has a peppery smoky quality that pairs nicely with fish.  The cinnamon comes across more strongly in the aroma of the finished dish and is subtle in the flavor.

If you want to do a "taste-test" batch of cinnamon oil, use just 1 cinnamon stick and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.  It will be enough for 2 or 3 marinades.  When you crush up the cinnamon sticks, just pound them in a plastic bag with a meat pounder until they look like mulch. 

It's tempting to buy cheapie spices for this or use cinnamon sticks that have been hanging around since last autumn's spiced cider kick, but the fresher and more strongly flavored the cinnamon is, the better the marinade will be.

Cinnamon marinated trout with Baked Cucumbers
and Zucchini Salsa
Cinnamon Marinated Fish
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 lbs. light-flavored fish (tilapia, flounder, trout)
3-4 tbsp cinnamon oil

Brush the oil on both sides of the fish.  Marinate the fish at least overnight, or put the fish in a freezer bag with the marinade to freeze. 

To cook, thaw (if frozen).  Fry, grill or bake as desired.  No additional oil is necessary.

Cinnamon Oil
Makes 2 cups

2 cups vegetable oil
4-5 cinnamon sticks, crushed

Put the oil and cinnamon sticks in a small pot, and heat over medium heat until the oil is just bubbling.  Take the pot off the heat and let cool completely.  Pour into a lidded glass jar and store for 2 weeks in a cool, dark location.  Shake the jar occasionally.  After 2 weeks, strain the oil into another glass jar and store in the same location. Pin It

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