Saturday, May 7, 2016

Leader Enterprise - May 4, 2016 - Rhubarb





A very happy Mother's Day to all you Moms and Grandmas! As the saying goes, "A Mother is One who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take". 

Rhubarb should be readily available this time of the year. Rhubarb appears to look like red celery. The deep red stalks are sweeter and richer. Rhubarb has a notable amount of Vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and aids in good vision. One cup of rhubarb only has 26 calories, so if you grew up not liking it, just maybe you'll like it now.  Here's some wonderful recipes to try using rhubarb.

This first one was one of my dear mom's favorites that we still enjoy. 

RHUBARB & MINUTE TAPIOCA

2-1/2 c. diced rhubarb
2-1/2 c. water
1-1/2 c. white sugar
(I use xylitol)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. minute tapioca
few drops of red food coloring, optional

Cook all ingredients together in large saucepan over medium heat; stir occasionally.  Rhubarb breaks down while it cooks. Stir to blend in food coloring; cool; refrigerate. May add some crushed pineapple for a flavor burst once its cooled. This keeps well for 2 weeks in the fridge.

SOUR CREAM RHUBARB PIE 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • (I used half xylitol)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • (I used lite)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell

  • TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon peel. optional
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1/3 cup cold butter or margarine 
  • 1/3 c. chopped nuts 

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat in the sour cream and egg. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Pour into pastry shell.Topping: In small bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, orange peel and cinnamon.. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle over the filling. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until topping is golden brown. Cool. Refrigerate leftovers.

How about a savory recipe?  This one is good for basting meats on the grill! 

RHUBARB BARBECUE SAUCE
1 c. water
1-1/2 c. chopped rhubarb
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic. mashed
1 tsp. oil
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. ketchup
2 Tb. corn syrup
2 Tb. dijon mustard
3 Tb. worchestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot sauce
2 Tb. vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Bring the rhubarb and water to boiling. Lower the heat and let simmer until rhubarb is tender. Let cool and process rhubarb mixture (blender or food processor) until smooth.
In the original saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and finally the rhubarb puree. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to let simmer uncovered for at least 5 minutes.
I'm reminded of a funny story I read years ago. A new bride had moved from the city to the country and had much to learn.  Her groom asked if she'd make him a rhubarb pie. She wasn't sure what that was, so he told her they were the red stalks out in the yard. After he went to work, she happily made the pie and couldn't wait for him to taste it. He took one bite, looked at her and asked her to show him what she had used in the pie.  She took him to the peony plant! You can be sure she never ever lived that one down! 
Enjoy the sunshine, and the flowers, as much as you can and be careful which ones you eat.