Ginger Glazed Meatballs
Serve these ginger meatballs as an appetizer or as an Asian-style entree wrapped in small fresh leaves of bibb or Boston lettuce. Place a meatball on a lettuce leaf, then add a spoonful of medium-grain cooked rice. Garnish with sliced green onion and a mixture of matchstick strips of carrot, red pepper and turnip marinated in rice vinegar. Fold the lettuce leaf over the filling to form a compact package for eating.
2 large eggs
2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
5 green onions, finely chopped (discard root ends and half of green ends)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup fresh unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons quality soy sauce
⅓ cup liquid (Japanese dashi, beef broth, milk or water)
1 pound chopped (85% lean)
1 pound ground pork
Tare Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and tare glaze. With clean hands, mix the beef and pork well. Handle lightly without compacting, otherwise the meatballs may be tough. Shape about 24 large meatballs; place on a large lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside. While the meatballs cook, prepare Tare Glaze. Combine cooked meatballs and glaze in large bowl; turn gently to coat. Spoon into serving bowl; garnish with green onion and vegetable strips. Refrigerate leftovers; reheat in the microwave. For 6 to 8 people.
Tips: Check the seasoning of the meatballs by cooking and tasting a tiny portion of the mixture. Meatballs can be cooked in batches in a very large skillet with a little vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sauce and mix.
Teriyaki is a traditional Japanese cooking method for grilling food. Teri means “bright” and yaki means “grill”. Foods are brushed with tare (tar-eh), a brushable glaze that creates a rich caramelized color and adds the flavor of umami. The classic tare is made with soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. This spicy variation includes chili peppers, ginger root and hoisin – a Chinese bean sauce used to glaze meats. Mirin is a sweet rice wine that shines in sauces and casseroles, adding a brilliant sheen. Buy thin mirin (14% alcohol) at health and health food stores.
½ cup water (or dashi broth)
2 thin diagonal slices of fresh ginger, crushed
2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup quality soy sauce (like Kikkoman)
¼ cup quality mirin
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons quality hoisin sauce (like Lee Kum Kee)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Add frosting ingredients to small saucepan; stir until cornstarch dissolves. Place over medium-high heat and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until mixture thickens and boils 1 full minute. cold tare; discard the ginger. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight jar for 2 weeks. Use the glaze on meatballs or brush it over grilled steak, pork, poultry or tofu. Baste a vegetable, meat or seafood stir-fry for the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking. Makes about 1¼ cups.
Glazed Salmon Rice Bowls
Cook 1 cup rinsed medium grain rice. Mix ½ cup of shelled edamame in cooked rice. Sear ½ pound of fresh salmon fillet. Once cooked, break it into large pieces and coat it with Tare Glaze. Place rice in two large serving bowls until half full. Top with glazed salmon chunks, small portions of sautéed vegetables, toasted sesame seeds and grated green onion.
Berry and port glaze
You might be tempted to eat it with a spoon, but save it for glazing ham, poultry, pork tenderloin, game or lamb. Omit the chili garlic sauce and pour the fruity glaze over desserts such as ice cream, fresh berries or cheesecake.
1½ cups Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Raspberry Juice
½ cup seedless raspberry jam or plum jam (or a mix)
2 tablespoons raspberry balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup port
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons quality chili garlic sauce (like Lee Kum Kee), to taste
Put the juice, jam, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan, heat until the jam melts. Stir cornstarch into port; Off the heat, stir into the juice mixture with a wooden spoon. Return skillet to medium-high heat; stir continuously until mixture thickens and boils 1 full minute. Stir in lemon juice and chili garlic sauce. Use immediately or let cool and refrigerate in an airtight jar. Reheat the frosting before use.
This thin frosting complements almost any cookie; among the prettiest, cutouts adorned with flower petals. Rose water adds another floral dimension. Note that the aroma is strong; use sparingly. The frosting sets beautifully and has a softer bite than royal icing (royal icing), which is made with egg whites and dries to a hard protective coating. Corn syrup helps prevent sugar crystallization and improves shine. Additional flavors include dissolved instant espresso, unsweetened cocoa, citrus juice and zest.
2 cups icing sugar (more for thicker icing), sifted
2 tablespoons water, half and half or cream
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
⅛ to ¼ Nielsen Massey rose water or ½ teaspoon pure vanilla, almond or coconut extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Baked sugar cookies of your choice
Whisk together sugar, water, lemon juice, salt and rose water until smooth; stir in corn syrup. Spoon 1 heaped teaspoon frosting in center of cookie; spread with the back of a spoon or a small offset icing spatula, or apply with a decorating squeeze bottle. For a lacy design, baste the top. If it’s too thin and translucent, stir in an additional 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar, a little at a time. A few drops of white food coloring will make the frosting opaque, but it will retain its shine. Dry glazed cookies on parchment paper for 3 hours or until set. Decorate the tops as desired. Makes frosting for 2½ dozen cookies (3 inches).
Variation: Cream Cheese Frosting
Prepare recipe as directed, but use half and half or cream, omit corn syrup and beat 2 tablespoons cream cheese until smooth. Incorporate the aroma. The glaze can be enriched with a tablespoon of soft unsalted butter. Good drizzled over quick breads, muffins or scones.
Some flowers are more than a pretty face; use their tasty petals to embellish glazed cookies. Proceed with caution; some flowers are poisonous. Edible flowers include primroses, roses, nasturtiums, carnations, roses, pansies, violas, scented geraniums, calendula (marigold), cornflowers, chrysanthemums, hibiscus, purslane and flowers of herbs, for example rosemary and lavender.
Due to pesticides, do not eat commercially grown flowers or those that grow along roadsides. For more information, consult gardening reference books or gardening professionals. Organic flowers can be purchased at specialty grocers, farmers markets and online growers. Better yet, grow your own.
To decorate frosted cookies, affix small flowers or petals with additional frosting or lightly beaten, pasteurized egg white. Whole petals can be shredded like confetti. Glaze the flowers by brushing them lightly with egg white; sprinkle with extra-fine sugar. Optional: Flowers can be flattened by placing them between sheets of parchment paper topped with a heavy book for 1 hour.
Chocolate ganache is endlessly versatile. As a hot icing, pour it over layer cakes, sheet cakes and cupcakes. Pour over ice cream or serve as a fondue for fresh fruit and cookies. High-quality dark chocolate is key – for example, the Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar (64% Cacao) or the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar. Heavy cream (38% fat) adds richness and smooth texture; butter gives a brilliant shine. Frosting retains its glossy finish on cakes at room temperature; if refrigerated, it loses some shine.
8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup organic heavy cream (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, halved at room temperature, or light corn syrup
Optional: 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla or 1 to 2 tablespoons of alcohol or liqueur.
Chop the chocolate, set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour the hot cream into a small bowl, then immediately add the chocolate. After 2-3 minutes, use a rubber spatula to stir gently, starting in the center, until a thick, smooth emulsion forms. Gently stir in butter, one piece at a time, and desired flavoring. Use the icing while it’s still runny. It thickens as it cools; if necessary, reheat gently in a bain-marie. If the ganache reaches a spreadable consistency, you can use it as a cake icing. Serve within 2 days; refrigerate leftovers.
Tips: Soak herbs, spices or strips of orange zest in the cream as it heats; strain when the hot cream is poured into the bowl.
Using a decorative squirt bottle, create dripping frosting around the top edge of a well-cooled, frosted cake. The icing should be fluid, at room temperature.
For thinner frosting, increase cream to 1¼ cups.