Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

February 13, 2014

Jam Jar Vinaigrette

I never could stand store-bought salad dressing. But if I make a big batch of my own, and buy a honkin' tub of organic greens, I'm sure to eat my vegetables every day. The sweetness of the jam balances the acid from the citrus and vinegar. Herbs, shallot, and ginger add layers of flavor and dimension, making this vinaigrette (and hence, your veggies) irresistible. 

This is may favorite combination of ingredients, you can have fun using different vinegars, jams, and herbs. The measurements I give are just guidelines. I encourage you to taste as you go, and adjust whatever you like to suit your palate. 

Shake it Up
Add all ingredients to the jam jar, shake well to dissolve all the jam, and adjust ingredients to taste. If you have time, make it ahead and allow the flavors to develop in the vinegar before adding the oil. Otherwise, add oil to taste. I like about 3 parts vinegar, etc. to 1 part oil. 

Rice Vinegar - about 1/4C
White Balsamic Vinegar - about 2T 
Meyer Lemon Juice - about 2T
Orange Juice - about 3T 
Red Wine - 1-2T
Shallot - 1T finely minced 
Ginger - about 1t, either in a chunk or grated
Kosher Salt - about 1/2t
Grapeseed Oil - about 1/4C (grapeseed oil is just as healthy as olive oil, but has a milder flavor, and doesn't coagulate as much in the fridge)

Herbs: You can add a sprig of thyme to the jar, and the flavor will infuse the dressing, or mince a few leaves of basil or tarragon. 

So next time you polish off a jar of your favorite jam, save the jar and turn it into a cup of goodness. 
Let sleeping ingredients steep before adding oil.