Jun
07
    
Posted (Lori) in News

RHUBARB

Tips and Basic Cooking.

From: http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–1110/all-about-rhubarb.asp

A perennial plant that has celery like stalks that are greenish pink to dark red in color. Rhubarb is a vegetable but is generally prepared and served in the same manner as a fruit.

Rhubarb can be eaten raw with a little sugar sprinkled over it but it is generally cooked with other ingredients to produce a fruit dish of some type. Rhubarb can be used nicely to enhance the flavor of other fruits, such as pairing it with strawberries in baked sauces or beverages. It makes a delicious pie filling and is also used to make sauce in the same manner as applesauce. Rhubarb can also be used to make jellies, jams, cakes, muffins, and other desserts. It can also be used in savory dishes and is good as a sauce to serve with meats and fish.

Storage:

Before storing, remove any leaves from the rhubarb stalks and discard. Rhubarb stalks can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, unwashed and sealed in an air tight plastic bag or tightly wrapped in plastic. It is best to store fresh rhubarb in whole stalks because cut or diced pieces will dry out more quickly. Trim just before using. Rhubarb can be frozen for future use by cutting the stalks into 1-inch lengths and packaging in airtight bags or by stewing first and then freezing. Rhubarb does not need to be sweetened before it is frozen.

Rhubarb Preparation

Trim off leaf ends and roots using a sharp knife and discard. Be sure to discard the leaves, which contain toxic levels of oxalic acid.

If the more mature stalks are wider than 1 inch, slice lengthwise in half or thirds.

Check stalks for blemished areas and trim off before using.

If stems are fibrous, they will need to have the strings pulled off. At one end of the stalk, cut just under the skin. Pull the piece down the stalk to remove the strings. Continue until all of the strings are removed.

Wash stalks and slice them into 3/4 inch to 1 inch pieces when preparing for stewing or making sauce. Pies and other recipes may call for the pieces to be cut to a smaller size, such as 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Tip:

Refresh rhubarb stalks by standing them in a pitcher that has been filled partially with cold water. Allow them to stand for a minimum of 1 hour.

Rhubarb Cooking

Stewed Rhubarb | Baked Baked | Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb can be eaten raw but because of its tartness, it is generally cooked and sweetened first. It can be sweetened with sugar, honey, syrup, or berry preserves. When cooking rhubarb do not use aluminum, iron or copper pans. Rhubarb has high acidity and will react with these types of metals. The reaction will cause the rhubarb to turn a brownish color and can cause the pan to discolor. It is best to use anodized aluminum, non-stick coated aluminum, or enameled cast iron pans. If the rhubarb is being baked, glass bakeware can be used also.

STEWED RHUBARB

Because rhubarb varies in sweetness, it is hard to determine how much sugar is needed. The rhubarb will also sweeten as it cooks. Start out with a small amount of sugar. Once the rhubarb has cooked, more sugar can be added if necessary.

Clean 1 pound of rhubarb and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces. This should produce approximately 3 cups of rhubarb.

Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.

Add the rhubarb and bring sauce back to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until rhubarb is crisp-tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Taste to see if sauce is the desired sweetness. If it requires additional sugar, add 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and bring sauce back to a boil to be sure sugar dissolves.

Remove from the heat when sauce is at desired sweetness. Serve as a sauce warm or cold. The sauce can be eaten on its own or it can be served as a topping on other food, such as cake, ice cream, pancakes, and waffles.

BAKED RHUBARB

Spread 2 pounds of rhubarb, cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces, on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Mix ginger and nutmeg into the sugar until evenly distributed.

Pour the sugar mixture evenly over the rhubarb.

Drizzle with 1/2 cup of orange juice. Pineapple juice can also be used.

Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350°F oven. Remove rhubarb from the oven and stir mixture. Put back in the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.

Remove from the oven and serve as a warm sauce on its own or as an accompaniment to other foods, such as meats and fish.

SPRING RHUBARB CAKE

Cake

4 tbs softened butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup yogurt

1 small bunch rhubarb (about 1- 1 1/2 cups, diced)

Topping

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix butter, brown sugar and egg. Add sifted flour, baking soda and salt alternately with yogurt and rhubarb. Spread in 9×12” pan.

Mix topping ingredients together in separate bowl, sprinkle over top of cake. Bake 35-40 minutes @ 350 degrees.

NOTE: The hardest part of this recipe is dicing the rhubarb. I cut into 2-inch pieces and then put it into the food processor and pulse 8-10 times for a few seconds on each pulse.

RHUBARB BOURBON SOUR

http://katieatthekitchendoor.com/2015/04/17/rhubarb-bourbon-sour/

Katelyn sent in this recipe for a new way to use rhubarb. I hope we have enough rhubarb. And bourbon.

Serves 4-6.

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb

1 c. sugar

3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 c. water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bourbon

few drops bitters

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer gently until the rhubarb is completely soft and the mixture is syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil over. Strain the liquid into a bowl or glass jar. Stir the vanilla extract into the rhubarb syrup. Keep the stewed rhubarb for another use.

For each cocktail, add ice, 1 part rhubarb syrup, 1 part Bourbon, and a few drops of bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds, until foamy, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with extra rhubarb stalks if desired, and serve immediately.

RADISH IDEAS

1. Radish salad: (adapted from an interview of Deborah Madison/The Splendid Table)

I slice the radishes paper-thin, and they get so translucent, delicate and delicate-tasting. Then I mix them all with some things like radish sprouts, maybe some of the radish leaves, a little salt and pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. I put in some very thin slices of a dry Monterey Jack cheese, an aged Gouda or maybe manchego, which isn’t the usual thing to do with radishes. But I think that the proteins and caseins in the cheese give it such a round, wonderful taste. It’s one of my favorite salads, and it’s absolutely beautiful

2. Piquant Radish Soup with Crème Fraiche; from Vegetarian Times

1/2 lb. radishes, halved (3 cups)

1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

1 small white onion, quartered

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 Tbs. prepared horseradish sauce

2 Tbs. crème fraîche, plus more for garnish, optional—see note

1. Pulse radishes and potato in food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl, wipe out food processor, and set radish mixture aside.

2. Pulse onion in food processor until finely chopped.

3. Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add radish mixture, white pepper, and 31/2 cups water. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

4. Remove soup from heat, stir in horseradish, and purée in food processor in batches until smooth. Add crème fraîche, and purée until combined. Season with salt, if desired. Serve garnished with radish, greens, and crème fraîche (if using).

NOTE: To make crème fraiche: Add 2 tbs buttermilk to 1 cup heavy cream.; stir to combine. Cover, and leave in a warm dry place—not the refrigerator—for 12-16 hours. Like magic—the cream thickens and turns into a delicate, complex concoction that adds great flavor to everything it comes in contact with.

3. Raita: Add 3 tbs of chopped radish, 1 tbs chopped onion, and 3 tbs of chopped cucumber to one cup yogurt. Add ¼ cup chopped parsley and mix thoroughly, .

4. Radish toast. Butter a slice of toast and cover with a thin slice of radish.

5. Braised radishes

3/4 lb. radishes (about 1 bunch), tops removed and reserved

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/3 cup lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. granulated sugar

Kosher salt

Trim the radishes and slice them crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Trim and discard the stems from a small handful of the tops, wash the leaves thoroughly, pat dry, and then finely chop enough to measure 2 Tbs. (Save the rest of the tops for another use.)

In a 10-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the radishes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the radishes are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and add the vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the chopped leaves and serve.

6. Grated radish dressing

Trim 1 bunch radishes and chop them roughly. Place them in a food processor and pulse to grate. Combine with 1 tbs soy sauce and 1 tbs rice wine vinegar. Serve with broiled fish.

7. Cabbage radish slaw

1 1/2 pound cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (6 cups)

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons honey mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 radishes, thinly sliced

Toss cabbage with salt in a large bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey mustard, and pepper in a small bowl until combined.

Rinse cabbage with cold water in a colander, then firmly squeeze handfuls to remove excess water and transfer cabbage to cleaned bowl. Add radishes and dressing to cabbage, tossing to combine.

8. Layer into sandwiches

Thin slices of radish add crunch and tang to sandwiches such as egg salad, tuna, and roast beef.

9. Microwaved radishes

Steam trimmed radishes in a covered microwave safe container for 8 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and toss with butter, serve immediately.

SPRING TURNIPS

Good to see a favorite in the first week. These turnips are not like the huge, hearty turnips we get in the fall; they are great raw and need very little cooking. Sometimes, the first harvest of turnips gives us mostly green and very tiny turnips, so we might not have turnips that are big enough use as below—if they’re tiny, just wash, slice, and throw them into a stir fry.

Basics: Peeling really isn’t necessary, just wash them well. These tender little turnips are great raw; just halve or quarter them,.sprinkle with salt and enjoy. Raw turnips are great in salads, as crudités, and layered into sandwiches.

If you’re stir-frying greens, these make a great addition. They need only a few minutes, so add them just a miute before the greens.

If the turnips are big enough, they can be roaste or broiled. Slice them about ¼-inch thick, drizzle with oil, and put them in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or under a broiler for about 5 minutes. Turn once halfway through. Watch them while they are roasting/broiling—they are sometimes ready way before the times above and they burn easily.

There’s a great turnip soup recipe in Recipes From America’s Small Farms. Here are a few more spring turnip recipes from the More Than Burnt Toast blog.

SPICED SPRING TURNIPS & GREENS

½ lb spring turnip greens

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 small red chilli, split lengthways

1-inch piece root ginger, peeled and grated

1 tbs chopped garlicscape

½ lb small turnips, trimmed, and quartered—peel them if you want

salt, to taste

a pinch of turmeric or your favorite spice

Finely slice the spring turnip greens and wash them thoroughly – this isn’t just to remove any grit, but also because, as there’s no liquid added to this dish, the water clinging to the leaves will ensure that the greens cook quickly and evenly. Heat the oil in a large lidded pan and add the cumin seeds. When they begin to pop, reduce the heat and add the chili, ginger and garlic. Add the turnips, salt and turmeric, cover the pan with a lid and cook for ten minutes. Add the spring greens and cook, covered, for a further ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender but still brightly coloured and slightly crunchy. Serve hot as a side dish, removing the chili before serving if you wish.

SPRING TURNIPS WITH HONEY-MUSTARD DRESSING

½ lb baby turnips, trimmed

1 tbs vinegar

1 tsp clear honey

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tbs shredded fresh mint (optional)

salt and fresh ground black pepper

Place the turnips in a saucepan, cover generously with water and add a little salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat under the pan and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the turnips are just tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and mustard powder, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Whisk briefly until smooth and set aside. Drain the turnips thoroughly in a colander. In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the turnips and turn them in the oil for a few minutes until beginning to turn light golden. Add the vinegar-honey mixture and stir until the turnips are well coated and the glaze begins to bubble in the pan. Add the fresh herbs, stir to distribute them evenly, then turn the turnips and glaze onto a serving dish and serve immediately.

SHAVUOTH

The Jewish holiday of Shavuoth starts this Saturday evening and ends on Monday night. For those of you who watch the Jewish calendar in connection to alternate side of the street parking, heads up. Shavuoth marks the time when Moses brought the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai and everyone celebrating by eating blintzes and cheesecake. The connection between Shavuoth and dairy is not clear. I was taught that the Jewish community turned to dairy foods around Torah-giving time because they got a glimpse of the kashrut rules about slaughtering animals and decided it would take some time to get that right. But I’ve recently read that the reason could have been simply that dairy animals produced a lot of milk in the late spring when Shavuoth fall. In any case—every Jewish community has a dairy dish for this holiday. Here are two that are not quite traditional.

By the way—with our multicultural group (there are about 30 different nationalities represented in our 150 members),  it seems right to include multicultural recipes. The ones I know best are Jewish—but I’d love to include as many ethnic recipes as we can. So if you have them, please send them. And if they are connected to calendar events, please let me know.

For most of my life, I thought that blintzes were too hard for the average cook and had to be simply thawed from the Golden boxes. Then I tried them—not hard at all. And Sweta and Aankit told me the same thing about the Paneer recipe that they submitted; they were intimidated at the thought of making cheese until they did it themselves. When I tried the paneer recipe, I was skeptical, it seemed too easy. All through the first steps, I kept say, this is not going to happen. And then it did, like magic.

NOT YOUR BUBBE’S BLINTZES

Adapted from: http://jewcy.com/jewish-food/not-your-bubbe’s-recipe-cheese-and-spinach-blintzes

Makes 20-25 blintzes

Crepe

1 cup all purpose flour

sea salt

3 large eggs

2-3 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan

Filling

2 cups ricotta

1 cup cooked spinach or other greens from out share

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds

salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment:

1 nonstick pan

1. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and whisk until thoroughly mixed.

2. Immediately add 2 cups of milk and melted butter. Whisk until well mixed.

3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps. Add more milk to make the batter like a thin cream.

4. Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.

5. Over medium-high heat, warm a crepe pan or non-stick saute pan. Ladle a scant ¼ cup of batter into the pan with one hand, using the other to quickly tilt the batter until it covers the surface of the pan. Allow it to bubble slightly. Once the crepe is firm, gently loosen it from the pan and place on a plate. Watch this video for a demonstration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhQU7gWTemM

6. Spoon about a tablespoon of the filling onto one side of the crepe. Gently roll the crepe, stopping just short of the opposite edge. Fold in the sides and finish rolling.

7. Melt a pat of butter in the pan. Place blintzes, folded side down, until the bottom becomes golden brown.

Variation: As good as these are—people always ask for potato blintzes. Same as above, but the filling is mashed potatoes, with or without fried onions. I’m going to try mixing potatoes into the spinach-cheese mixture this year.

Paneer

Here is Sweta and Aankit’s recipe; Sweta says that this recipe is almost identical to the family recipe she uses. She says, “A few times over the summer I ordered unpasteurized milk from Lewis Waite farm to make some very delicious paneer. It was also tasty when sauteed up with onions and purple peppers and some cumin/paprika/turmeric.

From: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-paneer-cheese-in-30-minutes-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-57008

See the above website for step-by-step illustrations.

HOW TO MAKE PANEER CHEESE IN 30 MINUTES

1/2 gallon whole milk, not UHT pasteurized

1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

Equipment

4-quart saucepan

Slotted spoon

Strainer or colander

Mixing bowl

Cheesecloth, nut bag, or other cloths for straining

Dinner plates

Weights, like a 32-ounce can of tomatoes

Instructions

Heat the milk: Pour the milk into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring the milk to a bare simmer — just below the boil at around 200°F. Stir the milk occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the milk doesn’t scald. When ready, the milk will look foamy and steamy.

Add the lemon juice: Remove the milk from heat and stir in the lemon juice. The milk should begin to curdle immediately, but it’s ok if it doesn’t.

Let the milk stand for 10 minutes: Cover the milk and let stand for 10 minutes to give the acid time to completely separate the curds and whey. At the end of 10 minutes, the curds should be completely separated and the liquid should look yellow and watery. If the milk hasn’t separated, try adding another tablespoon of acid. If it still won’t separate, check your milk and be sure you are using non-UHT milk; this kind of milk won’t separate.

Strain the curds: Set a strainer or colander over a mixing bowl and line it with cheesecloth, a nut bag, or other straining cloth. Carefully scoop or pour the curds into the strainer, letting the whey collect in the bowl beneath.

Squeeze the curds: Gather the cheesecloth in your hand and gently squeeze to remove the excess whey.

Salt the curds: Open the cheesecloth and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt over the curds. Stir gently and taste. Add more salt if desired.

Press the curds: Transfer the curds (still in the cheesecloth) to a large dinner plate. Shape them into a rough square and then fold the cheesecloth tightly around the curds to form a neat rectangular package. Set a second plate on top of the package and weigh it down. Press for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Use or refrigerate the paneer: Once pressed, your paneer is finished and ready to use. You can use it immediately or refrigerate for up to two days. Refrigerated paneer will be firmer and less likely to crumble than fresh paneer.

Recipe Notes

Whole vs. 2% vs. Non-Fat Milk: While whole milk is our favorite for making ricotta, 2% milk can also be used, though the ricotta is slightly less rich and creamy. Avoid using skim and nonfat milks; these don’t separate as easily into curds and whey.

Pasteurized Milk: Pasteurized milk is fine to use for making ricotta, but avoid UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurized milk as this process changes the protein structure of the milk, preventing it from separating.

Using the Leftover Whey: The leftover whey can be used in place of water in any baking recipe, whizzed into smoothies, or drunk on its own over ice.



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