12 June 2009

rhubarb revelry

I got a few requests for my favorite uses for my beloved rhubarb and as I searched through my archives of bookmarks and dog-eared pages, I couldn't resist trying a few.

So, here are the current, top-of-my-list, favorites (which all, incidentally include ginger in some form):

1. Ginger Rhubarb Jam

There are a lot of variations of this around the web, but this is the recipe that I prefer. I love the twist the ginger adds to a truly simple recipe.

2lbs of rhubarb, chunked into 1 inch pieces
2 cups of sugar, can be reduced depending on how tart you like it
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
zest of one lemon

combine all ingredients in a medium, saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir until all sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20-40 minutes, stirring often. The goal is a thicker mixture that will mound on the spoon. When its ready, you can remove it from the heat and pour into jars. They can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks, or you can follow standard canning techniques for fruit jams and put up a stock of it to indulge in over the winter.

2. Basic Rhubarb Chutney

I love a good chutney, having made plum variations for a few years. I decided to just adapt a recipe I had to use the rhubarb. I think I would make a few adjustments, noted below, but overall, this is delish! It will be accompanying me to a party at Nici's tonight with some cream cheese slathered baguettes.

2 tablespoons of juice (apple, orange, grapefruit, whatever you have on hand)
1/3 cup of cider vinegar (I think I will use rice vinegar next time to give it a milder flavor)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (I substituted a 1/2 tsp of ground ginger that I had on hand)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups rhubarb, in 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup golden raisins

In a medium saucepan, mix juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the fruit and bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat again and cook until rhubarb is tender, about 5-10 minutes. Mash up rhubarb with a fork. Remove from heat and cool. Will keep in the fridge for about a week.

3. The final recipe that I love and made this week was the 'Big Crumb' Coffeecake with Rhubarb from Smitten Kitchen. Deb has some of the most fabulous recipes and this is one of my favorites.

Happy Friday everyone!


ericka said...

this jam sounds delightful, I'm embarrassed to say that I have yet to try rhubard..as it seems to be a summer staple! I will make it a must to pick some up at my next visit to the market!

dig this chick said...

I ate the chutney last night and attest to its fabulousness! Thanks for sharing, Amy. I am thinking of trying to can some. It was so effing delicious.

Beegirl said...

Yea for Rhubarb!! Going to have to try the chutney! Thanks so much for sharing...