CHINESE FIVE SPICE POWDER (about ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon Szechwan peppercorns
8 star anise
a 1-½ inch piece cinnamon stick, crushed coarse
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1. In a jelly-roll pan combine the Szechwan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds and toast the mixture in a preheated 250* oven for 20 minutes, and let it cool to room temperature. In an electric spice or coffee grinder pulverize the mixture and strain it through a sieve into a bowl. The Chinese five spice powder keeps in a tightly sealed jar in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Use it to season poultry and meats.