Category Archives: rhubarb

Food Matters Project #10: Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce

Another Food Matters Project recipe.  This week’s recipe was chosen by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She had chosen Mark Bittman’s Fish Nuggets Braised in Rhubarb Sauce.  You can find the original recipe in The Food Matters Cookbook, other interpretations of this recipe can be found in the comments section in this blog post.

It seems that rhubarb was difficult to find for some of us trying out this dish.  I hadn’t seen fresh rhubarb in the store for the last month or so, all of a sudden it had disappeared.  Fortunately, Whole Foods had frozen rhubarb which I snagged for this recipe.

We had never caramelized sugar and used it as a base for fish sauce, and since we were unsure of the outcome, we stuck to the recipe.  Although, we’ll admit that this was not our favorite Mark Bittman dish.  I’ve made some notes, so please read it before trying this out.

Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg. 454)

We had followed the recipe, and the one thing that has thrown us off was the amount of pepper which it called for.  If you were to make it again, our suggestion would be to halve the amount of pepper.  In addition, we’d add some garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper to the sauce.  This would give it more depth, and taste.  If you don’t have cod, other fish that would hold up well are: halibut, tuna steaks or tilapia. 

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 lb rhubarb, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 Thai chilies (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
juice of 2 limes
3/4 lb cod, defrosted/fresh
2 tbsp green onions, chopped

Add sugar and 1/4 cup of water to a large skillet heated over medium heat.  Stir every once in a while, while the sugar dissolves, then bubbles and darkens- about 10 minutes.  Then turn off the heat, and stir in another 1/4 cup of water.  Again, turn on the heat and stir the sauce until the caramel dissolves and thickens.

Then, add the rhubarb, onion and chiles.  Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, until they are soft and the sauce begins to melt.  Mix together the salt, pepper and lime juice, then pour into the pan.  Stir well, and then add the fish.  Cover the skillet and allow the fish to cook until it is done.

We served this with some rice and garnished with green onions.

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars

I picked this up from the Farmer’s Market today:

So I think a certain someone will have to make some blueberry-rhubarb crumble this weekend!  Cannot wait!

But for a richer, and more chocolatey dessert, this is a great recipe.  And it’s fairly simple, and easy for anyone to assemble.  Alice from Savory Sweet Life is very creative.  So when I saw this recipe, I also wanted to try it!  Who can resist Nutella?!?  But I would like to give her all of the credit for creating such a treat.

Key thing to remember is that when you do soften the caramels, use parchment paper between them and the plate.  We had a bit of a sticky disaster on our hands…it took a while to get it off the plate.

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars
Adapted from: Savory Sweet Life

2 bags of Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels (24 candies in each bag)
26 honey-wheat pretzel sticks
1/3 cup of Nutella
10 oz milk chocolate
3 tbsp half-and-half

Cut each rectangle caramel in half.  Then take 3 of the pieces (or 6 half pieces)and line them in a row on parchment paper, on a plate.  (Parchment paper is really important!)

Put the plate into the microwave for 8-12 seconds (depending on your microwave).  They should be soft enough to push the pretzel sticks onto caramels and sticking; but not too mushy that they melt.  Take 2 pretzels and push them into the caramels.

Next comes the chocolatey goodness.  I used a cheese knife to spread Nutella gently over the top.  Place all of the bars onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Lastly, I took the bars of chocolate, and melted them.  (I poured water into a pot, placed a bowl on top of it, and turned on the heat.  While the water is boiling, it heats up the bowl and the chocolate begins to melt.)  Remember to add the half-and-half, it makes the chocolate more liquidy, making it easier to pour it over the bars.

Once the chocolate melts, I picked up each bar and smeared the chocolate on the bottom of the bar.  Then I placed the bar back onto the parchment paper, and poured more chocolate on top of it.  I tried to fill in any sections which did not have chocolate on them.

Place the cookie sheet, with the bars, into the freezer for about an hour.  They are read to eat!

Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Another favorite that Sam makes.  Fortunately, Whole Foods carries frozen rhubarb, so we can enjoy this year-round.  But it is the best when the rhubarb is fresh (DC area: April-July).

I absolutely love pie, but it is often too sweet for my tastes.  I concocted this recipe several years ago as an alternative to the traditional, oogy-sweet Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie.  It incorporates the tartness of rhubarb, with the sweetness of brown sugar and blueberries.  The Rose Water
subtly enhances the flavor of the berries and the lemon juice adds a refreshing crispness.

It’s a lot of fun watching people try to figure out what exactly is in this pie- so deceiving!

Sam’s Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble

2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks of salted butter, cold
10 oz frozen rhubarb (or 4-5 chopped stalks of fresh)
10 oz frozen blueberries
1 tsp Rose Water
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup ice-cold water
1 pie tin or pie dish

Filling

Combine rhubarb, blueberries, Rose Water, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well and set aside at room temperature to macerate for about 30 minutes.

Dough

Add 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to your food processor and pulse until well mixed.  Next, add in 2 sticks of very cold, diced butter.  Pulse, and add in 1 1/4 cup of ice water a little at a time, until the mixture is crumbly.  You do not want a ball of dough.

Once you have the right consistency, take out the contents out onto a floured cutting board.  Take half of the mixture, roll it into a ball, wrap with Saran Wrap and put into the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Take the other half of the crumble mix and gently add to a bowl, cover with Saran Wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once the dough is cold, take out the half you rolled into a ball and covered with Saran Wrap.  Roll out on a well-floured cutting board until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Drape over the greased pie tin or pie dish.  Gently form into a the mold, and cut away any excess from the edge.

Add the blueberry-rhubarb filling into the pie, and spread evenly.  Make sure not to add too much of the excess liquid (no one likes a soupy pie!).  Top the pie with the remaining crumbly dough (the one in the bowl), I aim for about 90% coverage.

Put the pie on a cookie sheet (in case of spillage), and slide into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the topping is golden and bubbly.