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.

December 12, 2015

Chinese Pearl Balls

I fell in love with these as a kid. In the late 70's & early 80's, there was a surge in popularity of gourmet cooking & entertaining. Most days, we ate very simply, but during the holidays, my Mom & aunts would bust out the Bon Appetit and Martha Stewart cookbooks, and make morsels of goodness that cemented my love for experimenting with flavors & textures in my own cooking. 

Aside from being irresistibly delicious, these are gluten-free, very easy to prepare, and can be made ahead and frozen, so when company arrives, all you need to do is steam and serve. 

3/4C glutenous rice or sticky rice (does not contain gluten) 
1# ground pork
1 green onion, minced
2t freshly grated ginger
4 water chestnuts, finely minced
1T soy sauce
1T dry sherry (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2t corn starch 

Dipping sauces can vary to taste. I usually put out several options:
Plum Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Soy sauce with rice vinegar and chili oil
Sweet chili sauce

Soak the glutinous rice in water for at least 6 - 8 hours (preferably overnight). Drain well in a sieve or colander. Spread out the rice on a baking sheet. Note: Drain and spread out the rice just before making the pearl balls, so that the rice doesn't dry out too much.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well to incorporate all the goodies. 

Lay out a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment. Using a small ice cream scoop, a teaspoon, or your hands (keep hands wet for easier handling), make large gumball-sized balls (about 1T), and drop them onto the sheet with the rice. Roll the balls in the rice to coat evenly, and transfer to the tray with the parchment. Space them out so they're not touching. At this point the balls can be frozen for future use (freeze on the sheet pan, then transfer to ziploc bags, being careful not to lose too much rice). 
Steam the balls in batches using bamboo steamers or steamer baskets. Lightly oil the steamers to prevent sticking. Steam for about 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately. 

на здоровья!