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all I want for Xmas are a few recipes - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2004-12-20 20:08
all I want for Xmas are a few recipes
This holiday, the best presents you can give me are your favorite recipes. Involved or easy, vegetarian or carnivorous, appetizer to dessert, whatever your favorite recipes are, I'd love to hear about them. Feel free to post multiple times. :~) Please share!

These will help me in my resolution to cook more and eat out less. I'm going back to the "one fancy home-cooked meal a week, cooked with D" rule that has lapsed in the last year, and I'd also like to be able to throw together meals at other times that aren't cereal, leftovers, pasta with premade sauce, or canned soup with frozen veggies mixed in.

By the way, happy winter solstice, everyone! And thanks to those who made my holiday party fun. I found out today that the invite that I sent to the ballroom team never made it, though - stupid majordomo! Ah well, there's always next time.

Stonehenge Dec. 21

UPDATE: I forgot to take pictures AT the party, but here are a few of the results of the party - those that folks left behind, anyway. :~)
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Darth Absinthe
2004-12-21 05:24 (UTC)
Adam's Kick ASS Divinity
Adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook:

2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cornsyrup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanila
1 tsp almond flavoring
2 egg whites

Mix water, sugar and cornsyrup in a pot and stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolve. Boil until it reaches 260 degrees F. To test if the candy is ready: get a glass of cold water and drop some of the stuff in it. If it forms a hard ball (stiff and brittle)...you win.

While the divinity is boiling, whip the egg whites until they form stiff foamy peaks (looks like meringue), carefully pour the candy mixture via a small stream into the egg white mixture while mixing (preferably with a mixer). Once the candy is added and completely incorporated...add vanilla and almond favoring. Continue beating on a medium setting until it loses its wet gloss (kinda dull). (That is the tricky part...knowing when it is right). Then stop beating and use a buttered spoon to drop the candy onto wax paper. Let it dry for about 12 hours (you can eat it before) and then give to friends so that they can go into sugar shock!
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Fata Morgana
2005-01-04 04:20 (UTC)
Re: Adam's Kick ASS Divinity
I tried some of the divinity you gave to Boots, and it was indeed good and shock-inducing - thanks!
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Darcy: willow - what's cooking? (thanks to laur
2004-12-21 05:29 (UTC)
(no subject)
picture_keywordwillow - what's cooking? (thanks to laur
I'll just point you to my recipe page. And I'll try and remember to let people know when I update it because there are a bunch of recipes that are on my computer but aren't yet on the page. Like sugar cookies and latkes.
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Fata Morgana
2004-12-21 06:14 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks! And nice icon! :~)
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Darcy: willowtara
2004-12-21 06:37 (UTC)
(no subject)
I like it too. :) monanotlisa gave it to me some time last year.
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Fata Morgana
2004-12-21 08:07 (UTC)
(no subject)
Very appropriate. :~)
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2004-12-21 08:32 (UTC)
banana bread
here's the recipe i got from my mother.

i can't share the chocolate cake recipe (family secret :) ) but if you make it to one of the house concerts, you're welcome to enjoy a slice.
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2004-12-21 09:44 (UTC)
Grandma's Recipe
Tequila Christmas Cookies:
>1c water
>1 tsp baking soda
>1c sugar
>1 tsp salt
>1c brown sugar
>1 tsp lemon juice
>4 large eggs
>1c nuts
>2c dried fruit
>1 bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila
Sample the Cuervo to check the quality.
Take a large bowl, check Cuervo again to be sure it is of the highest
quality, pour one level cup and drink.
Turn on the electric mixer... beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy
Add one teaspoon of sugar...beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup...just in case.
Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick up the frigging fruit off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who givesshz a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar, or whatever you can find. Greash the oven.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to
beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and
make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.
Cheery Mistmas!!
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Fata Morgana
2005-01-04 04:22 (UTC)
Re: Grandma's Recipe
My grandma has a similar recipe, except it's for whiskey Thanksgiving turkey! ;~)
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2004-12-21 23:40 (UTC)
(no subject)
I liked this recipe. When I make it again, I'd cut the butter in half and skip the breadcrumbs. (John didn't like it though--no marshmallows.)

Sweet Potato-Apple Gratin
serves 8
1 T plus 6 T unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c packed fresh bread crumbs
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, preferably a red variety, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
2 tart apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 c apple cider or juice, boiled down to 1/4 c
1 T bourbon, optional
1/2 t fresh minced sage
1/4 t ground nutmeg
3/4 t salt, or more to taste
Pinch cayenne
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter shallow medium-sized baking dish.
2. To prepare bread crumbs: Melt 1 T butter in skillet over medium. Stir in bread crumbs and toast until golden, stirring occasionally. Scrape bread crumbs from skillet, and set aside.
3. Steam sweet potatoes and apples over simmering water until tender, about 25 minutes. Mash or rice sweet potatoes and apples together in mixing bowl. Stir in remaining butter, cider, sage, nutmeg, salt, cayenne and bourbon, if using. Mixture should be somewhat thick but spoonable. Scoop sweet potato-apple mixture into prepared dish, smooth surface and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
4. Bake about 25 minutes, until heated through and golden brown and crunchy on top. Serve hot.
(Per serving: 300 cal; 3G prot; 10G total fat (6G sat fat); 50G carb; 25MG chol; 260MG sod; 6G fiber.)
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2004-12-21 23:43 (UTC)
(no subject)
This is my family's traditional pie recipe. As pies go, it's actually not too unhealthy, and it's very tasty. The formatting is a little messed up.

Banana Cream Pie

Mix in saucepan……………………………………. 2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 tbsp. Cornstarch
1 tbsp. Flour

Stir in gradually…………………………………….3 cups Milk *

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 min. Remove from heat.

Slowly stir half the mixture into…………………….3 Egg Yolks, slightly beaten

Then blend into hot mixture in sauce pan.
Boil 1 min. more, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.

Blend in……………………………………………… 1 tbsp. Butter
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Cool…stirring occasionally.
Arrange a layer of sliced bananas 1/2 inch
deep in pie shell (pastry, graham cracker
crust, shortbread crust, etc.) Poor cooled
filling over bananas.

Chill thoroughly (2 hr.). Take chilled pie out of
refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. If
desired, top with whipped cream.

* Hint: Warm up milk in microwave (not too
much) to avoid having to stand so long at
the stove.
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2004-12-22 02:16 (UTC)
A summer recipe. One of John's favorites!
This is from WW. It's the wrong season for this recipe, but it's a good one for summer.

6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped (sweet onions are better)
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1/4 red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
9 ounces capellini
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, vinegar, oil, garlic, and sugar. Let stand, covered, at least four hours.

Meanwhile, cook the capellini according to the package directions; drain and place in a large serving bowl. top with the sauce, toss to combine. Serve, sprinkled with cheese.
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Fata Morgana
2005-01-03 18:48 (UTC)
Re: A summer recipe. One of John's favorites!
Non-reactive bowl? Something that won't be affected by acidic things?
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2004-12-22 02:25 (UTC)
Another recipe: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice
This is another of John's favorites, and we've shown it to others who liked it enough to add it to their rotation. It's tasty, but it takes about 45 minutes. This isn't a good freezer recipe; it also isn't nearly as tasty the second night as it is the first. I forgot which cookbook this came from.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup currents, dried (these are small grapes)

Heat oil in wide skillet and add onions, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 10 minutes (keep and eye on the heat--onions should cook fast but not burn).

Add lentils and broth or water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove hte cover and add tomatoes and currants. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover again. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until lentils are tender.

Serve over rice topped with feta (or parmesan) cheese. The feta adds a lot to this dish.
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2005-01-02 08:37 (UTC)
Re: Another recipe: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice
Here's a recipe for the Indian way of cooking lentils. I don't know if you like Indian food, but I could supply you with a bunch of Indian recipes if you like them.


Lentils - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2 finely chopped
Minced garlic - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon
Chilly powder - 1/4 teaspoon (this would make it fairly spicy, but feel free to adjust according to how spicy you would like your food to be).
1 tablesp. vegetable oil (olive oil also works)
1 tomato - chopped

First boil the lentils until they are almost cooked. (They should be soft, but the grains should not come apart). Now in a pan, add oil, minced garlic. Saute until the garlic turns brownish. Add onions, saute until brownish. Now add the boiled lentils along with the excess water, then the spices : turmeric, cumin and chilly powder. Stir until the spices mix. Cook until the lentils come apart. Add the chopped tomato. Take the pan off the heat about 2 or 3 mins after adding the tomato.
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2005-01-03 16:13 (UTC)
Re: Another recipe: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice
I do like Indian food. Mostly because I like lentils, and there are lots of lentils in Indian food. I'll give this recipe a try sometime.

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Fata Morgana
2005-01-03 18:50 (UTC)
Re: Another recipe: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice
I do like Indian food, but I'm a lightweight when it comes to spiciness (I'm better than I used to be, but that's not saying much). So please post away, and I can adjust the spices. :~)
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2004-12-22 02:26 (UTC)
Clearly, I can't help myself.
This is a staple of ours becaues it's so easy. It freezes well.

Quick Black Bean Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
4 cans black beans
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I usually double this)
1/2 teaspoon oregano (I usually double this)
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped (I never add this)
1/4 scallion, thinly sliced

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onion over moderate heat until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until the onion is lightly golden, another 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except scallion, along with four cups of water, and bring to a simmer.

3. Mash up some beans with a potato masher (or fork) just tenough to thicken the liquid base of hte soup. Cover and simmer gently but steadily for 10 minutes.

4. Top each serving with a scoop of sour cream, yogurt, or soy yogurt (I never do this) and a sprinkling of sliced scallion.

From "Vegetarian Express: Easy, Tasy, and Healthy Menus in 28 minutes or less"
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2004-12-22 02:27 (UTC)
Last one. A tasty soup.
Lentil-Apple Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups leeks, thinly sliced
1 1/2 quarts water
2 cups apple juice
1 1/2 cups lentils
3 stalks celery (DO NOT CHOP)
1 large onion (DO NOT CHOP)
6 cloves garlic (DO NOT CHOP)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups apple, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt.

1. In 4 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add leek and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the water and apple juice, bring to boil.

3. Stir in lentils, celery, onion and bay leaf. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 45 minutes.

4. Stir in apple. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes longer.

5. Discard celery, onion, and bay leaf. Stir in salt.
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Fata Morgana
2004-12-24 01:43 (UTC)
Re: Last one. A tasty soup.
Wow, thanks for posting so many!
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2004-12-23 03:14 (UTC)
(no subject)
Cousin Olivia's Spicy Shrimp Pasta

8 oz. linguine
1/2 lb. shrimp
1/2 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. white cooking wine
1/3 c. chopped green onion
1/3 c. chopped parsley
1 tbl. red pepper flakes
1 tbl. cajun or creole seasoning
2 tbl. butter or margarine
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
2 gloves chopped garlic
  1. Boil linguine, then drain.
  2. In sauce pan, mix: garlic, green onion, parsley, cajun/creole powder, red pepper flakes, butter/margarine. Turn on medium heat.
  3. Before garlic turns too brownish, turn on high hear and immediately add: shrimp (deshelled and deveined), wine, whipping cream. Cook about 3 minutes or until shrimps are pink.
  4. Add cooked and drained pasta to sauce. Mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes or more.
  5. Douse with parmesan before serving
Notes: This is what I cooked last night for the party except I doubled everything except the red pepper flakes and cajun seasoning (1 tbl. each) and the linguine (where I used about 20 oz.) and the cooking wine (which was omitted). This is really spicy as printed, but I apparently still didn't scale it back enough. I also think this recipe uses a lot of green onion and parsley (which I think of as more of a garnish), so you may want to substitute in your favorite vegetable that goes with a cream sauce. And, if I'm honest, preparing the shrimp is a pain in the neck. Diced chicken breast might work well in its place.
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Fata Morgana
2004-12-24 01:45 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks! It was really good, and not *too* spicy the way you made it. :~)
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2005-01-01 22:55 (UTC)
(no subject)
Start a cookbook collection. I don't know what you have, but you'll want to start with a classic "basics" book, like the Joy of Cooking, How to Cook Everything, the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and so on. Then explore what sounds good. Honestly, everything I've made out of the new Joy of Cooking has been excellent, except for their new dark fruitcake recipe.

Over the summer when I was cooking a lot for my apartment, my standards were lentil, potato leek, or vegetable soup (out of the Joy of Cooking), pizzas (a big batch once a week), and black beans (a big vat once a week). It's easy to lapse when you're stressed out, but spending an afternoon cooking is a good stress-releaser.

I'll copy-paste the email I sent to the girls once the summer was over with instructions for their favorite recipes:


French salad:

Boil small red new potatoes until edible (20 mins); cut into wedges.
Boil green beans or asparagus for 30 seconds until bright green but
still crunchy.
Add wedges of tomato, wedges of hard boiled egg, chopped fresh parsley.

Vinaigrette: (something like this...)
Stir together:
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2+ tsp dijon mustard
salt, ground black pepper
Add between 6 tbsp/.5 cup olive oil and whisk until nice


Joy of Cooking's dough recipe is fine, *EXCEPT*
Use 1 tsp of salt, not 1 Tbsp of salt. You don't need to let it rise
for more than the amount of time it takes to make tomato sauce and grate
cheese, but make sure that you knead it until it's smooth.

Tomato sauce:

Saute 1/2 onion, diced, and 1 clove garlic, minced, in olive oil until
onion is transparent and reasonably soft.
Add ~1 small can diced tomatoes (or ~2/3 big can).
Stir in ~1.5 tsp-1 Tbsp of basil, oregano, parsley.
Add ground black pepper to taste.
Add 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, taste, slowly add more until it tastes good.
Cook, stirring, until onions are soft, sauce has thickened a little.


It's better if you make it yourself. My pizza version tastes nasty on
its own, but works well on pizza with lots of cheese. Pulverize 2 cups
fresh basil leaves, 1 clove garlic, and just enough olive oil to make a
chunky leaf paste (too much olive oil will make your pizza too oily).
Add no more than a pinch or two of salt. Spread thinly over your pizza,
top with a mozzarella and parmesan mix, and feel free to add pine nuts.


I soaked the eggplant slices in saltwater and sauteed them in olive oil
until they looked somewhat cooked.
I sauteed the potato slices in olive oil before putting on the pizza to
make sure they were actually cooked.

Mexican stuff


Dice your desired volume of tomatoes into small pieces.
Dice maybe a third to half that volume of onion. Add half what you
think you might want. Taste. Add more onion until you achieve desired
onion-nature of salsa.
Green onions are yummy in salsa. You can use them in addition to or
instead of white round onions.
Mince a handful of cilantro, add to mix.
Mince a small amount of fresh jalapeno, add conservatively until you
reach slightly less than your desired hotness (it will get stronger over
time). By small, I mean you probably need less than a quarter of a
reasonably spicy pepper for a 2 or 3 tomato bowl of salsa.
Add salt. Start with a pinch, and keep adding pinches and mixing until
it tastes good.

The roasted tomato chipotle salsa in the Joy of Cooking is really good,
except you probably only need half the onion/cilantro/pepper mix for the
number of tomatoes they advise.


Mash an avocado.
Add half a diced tomato.
Add maybe 1/8 a diced onion.
Add some minced cilantro.
Add a spoonful of sour cream and mix thoroughly. It's weird, but it
really tastes good.
Conservatively add salt as in above until it tastes right.

For veggie fajitas/tacos, replace the meat in Joy's fajita recipe with
zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers. Add some soy sauce to the

Happy cooking.
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Fata Morgana
2005-01-04 04:24 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks! I should probably update my copy of Joy - mine's over 30 years old, and they do seem to change a lot.
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2005-01-01 23:00 (UTC)
(no subject)
The yummiest black beans ever. My friend Elliot's family recipe.

Cuban style

BLACK BEANS - Frijoles Negros

1 lb.  black beans                    1/2 c olive oil

2 T Olive Oil                         1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 Medium ripe Tomato                  1/2 green pepper, chopped

1 bay leaf                            1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 medium onion                      1 level teaspoon oregano,crushed

1/2 medium green pepper               1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed    2 T wine vinegar

                                      1 T salt

                                      1/2 t hot sauce

                                      2 T dry sherry

1. Wash beans thoroughly & pick out bad beans. Put them into a deep bowl with water 2 inches above beans. Cover and soak overnight.
2. Pour beans into a 3-4 qt soup kettle with same soaking water. If necessary, add ore water so that the beans will be covered 1 inch above.
3. Add to the beans: Left hand ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to moderate. Cover and cook beans until tender (about 1 hour). Use only a wooden spoon in stirring.
4. Remove bay leaf and what it left of the tomato, onion, pepper and garlic.
5. Right Side Ingredients: In a skillet heat oil and saute the onions and green pepper until transparent. Add everything else except sherry. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more, then add to beans. Cook beans for another half hour.
6. Correct seasoning and add sherry. Serve hot with cooked long grain white rice and raw chopped onions. Serve with olive oil on side.

Serves 6-8

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2006-02-01 03:12 (UTC)
Anemone and Surpheon served this to me last night. It was really delicious.
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2005-01-03 21:18 (UTC)
Sticky Rice
This is easy, but invaluable, and I feel like I need some penance to atone for the cookie post. You will need

1) Medium or short-grain rice. Cal-rose works well. Find it in the Asian foods section at the grocery store. It is not with the other rice for some reason.
2) Rice cooker or medium sauce pan
3) A large bowl, like a salad bowl for tossing the rice.
4) A spatula, preferably wooden. There is a special kind with a slanted edge. Specialty cookware store is your best bet.
5) Rice vinegar, and some sugar or salt depending on how you want your rice to taste.

3/4 cup (dry) will make plenty of rice for 2 people. So we will assume 3/4 cup.

Step 1: Get the starch and chaff off of the rice kernels. Soak 3/4 cup of rice in 2 cups of cold water for 15 minutes. Pour the water off (it will be a little cloudy) and put 2 cups of fresh cold water in. Soak 15 minutes. Pour off again.

Step 2: Soften the rice hull and begin to activate gluten so that the stickiness will happen. You have rinsed the rice, and drained it. Now pour 2 cups of cold water in with the rice. Soak for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the rice. If you have a rice cooker, all you have to do is turn it on. If you are cooking in a saucepan, bring everything to a boil, turn the heat down to low, and then cover it. Do not stir or touch it! It is ready when the rice has absorbed all the water. You will see craters form in the surface of your rice. It's about 15-20 minutes depending on your elevation.

Step 4: Activate gluten, add flavors. Dump the rice in a large bowl. It will be pretty sticky. We are going to make it really sticky. This is a little hard to describe. You want to hold the bowl steady at an angle and toss the rice with the spatula. The motion is halfway between beating a cake batter and turning an omelet. You want a folding motion, but you want it quick. The object is to cool the rice very quickly without cutting any kernels in half. Some rice is going to get on the floor. It's inevitable. You will feel the rice begin to thicken. Pinch some in your fingers. If it makes a nice ball, you're just about done. Flavor the rice with a little rice vinegar, or a mixture of rice vinegar and sugar. I recommend at least some vinegar if you are using this rice with sushi wrappers or fish. Oh, use your same folding motion when you add the vinegar, only slower.

Step 5: Eat. The rice should be pasty and very spreadable. You can use cool water on the edge of the spatula to prevent sticking. If you are making Nigiri with some sushi-grade tuna that you bought at Market St. Grill in Salt Lake, then you should shape your rice balls now. As the rice cools and the gluten action slows, it will stick together, but resist sticking to new things. You can make the rice balls now and keep them for a couple of days, but not the other way around.

Sorry this recipe is so long. Once you get a feel for this it's really easy, and sushi is the best food in the whole world 'cept for pie.
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Fata Morgana
2005-01-04 04:25 (UTC)
Re: Sticky Rice
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my journal
September 2013