Glazed Ginger Meatballs
Serve these gingery meatballs as an entree or as an Asian-style appetizer wrapped in small, fresh bibb or Boston lettuce leaves. Place a meatball on a lettuce leaf, then add a spoonful of cooked, medium-grain rice. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion and a medley of matchstick strips of carrot, red bell pepper, and turnip marinated in rice vinegar. Fold the lettuce leaf over the filling to form a compact bundle for eating.
2 large eggs
2 to 3 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger root
5 green onions, finely chopped (discard root ends and ½ of the green ends)
2 large garlic pods, finely minced
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 ground round (85 percent lean)
1 pound ground pork
Tare Glaze (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the meat and Tare Glaze. With clean hands, thoroughly mix in beef and pork. Handle lightly without compacting, or the meatballs could be tough. Shape into about 24 big meatballs; arrange on a large, lightly oiled baking sheet with rims. Bake 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside. As the meatballs cook, prepare Tare Glaze. Combine cooked meatballs and glaze in a large bowl; turn gently to coat. Scoop into a serving bowl; garnish with green onion and vegetable strips. Refrigerate leftovers; reheat in the microwave. Serves 6 to 8.
Tips: Check the meatball seasoning by cooking and tasting a tiny portion of the mixture. The meatballs can be cooked in batches in a very large skillet with a little vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add sauce and combine.
Teriyaki is a traditional Japanese cooking method for grilling foods. Teri means “shiny” and yaki means “grill.” Foods are brushed with tare (tar-eh), a basting glaze that creates a rich caramelized color and adds the savoriness of umami. The classic tare is based on soy sauce, mirin, saké, and sugar. This spicy variation includes chilies, ginger root, and hoisin — a Chinese bean sauce used for glazing meats. Mirin is a sweet rice wine that shines in sauces and simmered dishes, adding a glossy luster. Purchase fine mirin (14 percent alcohol) in natural and health food stores.
½ cup water (or dashi stock)
2 thin, diagonal slices fresh gingerroot, smashed
2 packed 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 tast
2 tablespoons quality hoisin sauce (like Lee Kum Kee)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Add glaze ingredients to a 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. Cool tare; discard ginger. Use at once or refrigerate in a tightly covered jar for 2 weeks. Use the glaze on meatballs or brush over grilled steak, pork, poultry, or tofu. Drizzle into a vegetable, meat, or seafood stir-fry during the final 2 or 3 minutes of cooking. Makes about 1¼ cups.
Glazed Salmon Rice Bowls
Cook 1 cup rinsed medium-grain rice. Mix ½ cup shelled edamame into cooked rice. Pan fry ½ pound fresh salmon filet. When cooked, break into large chunks and coat with Tare Glaze. Scoop rice into two large serving bowls until half filled. Top with the glazed salmon pieces, small portions of stir-fried vegetables, toasted sesame seeds, and shredded green onion.
Berry-Port Wine Glaze
You might be tempted to eat this with a spoon, but save it for glazing ham, poultry, pork tenderloin, game, or lamb. Omit the Chili Garlic Sauce and spoon the fruity glaze over desserts such as ice cream, fresh berries, or cheesecake.
1½ cups Ocean Spray 100% Juice, Cranberry Raspberry
½ cup seedless raspberry jam or plum jam (or a blend)
2 tablespoons raspberry balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup port wine
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons quality Chili Garlic Sauce (like Lee Kum Kee), to taste
Put the juice, jam, vinegar, and salt into a small saucepan, heat until jam melts. Blend cornstarch into the port; off the heat, stir into the juice mixture with a wooden spoon. Return the pan to medium-high heat; stir continuously until mixture thickens and boils 1 full minute. Stir in lemon juice and Chili Garlic Sauce. Use at once or cool and refrigerate in an airtight jar. Warm the glaze before use.
This thin glaze complements almost any cookie; among the prettiest are cutouts adorned with flower petals. Rosewater adds another floral dimension. Note that the flavoring is potent; use sparingly. The glaze sets beautifully and has a softer bite than royal icing (glace royale), which is made with egg whites and dries into a hard protective coating. Corn syrup helps prevent sugar crystallization and enhances the shine. Additional flavorings include dissolved instant espresso, unsweetened cocoa, citrus juice, and zest.
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (a little more for thicker glaze), sifted
2 tablespoons water, half-and-half, or cream
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch sea salt
⅛ to ¼ Nielsen Massey rosewater, or ½ teaspoon pure vanilla, almond, or coconut extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Baked sugar cookies, of choice
Whisk sugar, water, lemon juice, salt, and rosewater until smooth; blend in corn syrup. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon glaze in the center of a cookie; spread with the back of a spoon or a small, offset icing spatula, or apply with a decorator squeeze bottle. For a lacy design, drizzle over the top. If too thin and translucent, blend in 2 to 3 more tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time. A few drops of white food coloring make the glaze opaque, but it retains its shine. Dry glazed cookies on parchment paper 3 hours or until set. Decorate tops as desired. Yields glaze for 2½ dozen (3-inch) cookies.
Variation: Cream Cheese Glaze
Prepare recipe as directed, but use half-and-half or cream, omit the corn syrup, and beat in 2 tablespoons soft cream cheese until smooth. Stir in flavoring. 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, pinks, pansies, violas, scented geraniums, calendula (pot marigold), cornflowers, chrysanthemums, hibiscus, purslane, and herb flowers, e.g., rosemary and lavender.
Due to pesticides, don’t eat commercially grown flowers or those growing by roadsides. For more information, consult gardening reference books or gardening professionals. Organic flowers can be purchased from specialty grocers, farmers markets, and online growers. Even better, grow your own.
To decorate glazed cookies, attach small flowers or petals with extra glaze or lightly beaten, pasteurized egg white. Whole petals can be shredded like confetti. Sugar-glaze flowers by lightly brushing with the egg white; sprinkle with extra-fine sugar. Optional: Flowers can be flattened by placing them between parchment sheets topped with a heavy book for 1 hour.
Chocolate ganache is endlessly versatile. As a warm glaze, pour it over layer cakes, sheet cakes, and cupcakes. Spoon over ice cream or serve as fondue for fresh fruit and cookies. High-quality dark chocolate is key — e.g., Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Baking Bar (64 percent cacao) or Ghirardelli 60 percent Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar. Heavy cream (38 percent butterfat) adds richness and a smooth texture; butter gives a glossy sheen. The glaze retains its shiny finish on room temperature cakes; if refrigerated, it loses some gloss.
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup organic, heavy cream (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in half at room temperature, or light corn syrup
Optional: 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or 1 to 2 tablespoons liquor or liqueur.
Chop the chocolate, reserve. In a small saucepan bring cream to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour hot cream into a small bowl, then immediately add chocolate. After 2 to 3 minutes, use a rubber spatula to gently stir, beginning at the center, until a thick, smooth emulsion forms. Gently stir in butter, one piece at a time, and desired flavoring. Use glaze while still pourable. It thickens as it cools; if necessary, gently rewarm in a double boiler. If ganache reaches a spreadable consistency, you can use it as cake frosting. Serve within 2 days; refrigerate leftovers.
Tips: Steep herbs, spices, or strips of orange zest in the cream as it heats; strain out when hot cream is poured into the bowl.
Using a decorator squirt bottle, create a drip glaze around the top edge of a well-chilled, frosted cake. Glaze should be fluid, about room temperature.
For thinner glaze, increase cream to 1¼ cups.