Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Rhubarb Orange Compote

Compotes were fruity desserts in medieval times. Now, they are sweetened fruits that can make an appearance on a dessert or appetizer tray or can be served alongside meats during a main course. I made this rhubarb compote with the last of the rhubarb from my yard and used kumquats instead of orange juice. I found a kumquat tree (on public land) with fully ripened fruit just waiting to be used! It was fun to harvest a few kumquats by climbing the tree and shaking the limbs until the ripest fruit landed below. Kumquats are little oranges that can be eaten whole, or used in place of oranges.

Ingredients:

2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup quartered kumquats (or 1/2 cup orange juice and 1 tsp orange zest)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs minced crystallized ginger or ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry powder (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes if using kumquats or 30 minutes if using orange juice. Taste and enjoy. Makes about 2 cups.

Serves 4 for dessert or 8 as an appetizer or a sauce for meat

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I've been using up ingredients in new and unusual ways during this difficult time of shopping during a pandemic. I don't want anything to go to waste, but I certainly want everything to taste delicious! This will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, so make some up now if you're ready to harvest your last rhubarb for the season. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Spinach Tart

Remember that extra pie crust from the rhubarb pie? Here's what I did with it. I called this a tart, because I was out of both cheese and milk when I made this, but I did have lots of eggs and spinach. If you have fresh spinach from the garden this is even better, but many kinds of greens are delicious with eggs - my favorites are spinach and kale, though chard, beet greens or collard greens will work as well.

Ingredients:

1 pie shell
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2-1/2 cups chopped spinach or kale
1/2 tsp salt
4 or 5 large eggs, depending on size of pie plate

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line an 8 or 9 inch pie plate with pie dough. Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate while the vegetables are cooking. Heat the olive oil and butter in a nonstick pan set over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, mushrooms, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms begin to color, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds more, just until the spinach wilts. You'll need to add a little extra cooking time for kale or beet greens, and several extra minutes for chard or collard greens. Add the salt, stirring to combine the vegetables and salt together. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork until the whites and yolks are combined. Use 4 eggs for an 8 inch pie plate, and increase the number of eggs to 5 for the 9 inch pie plate. Pour the cooked vegetables into the pie crust, then pour the eggs over the vegetables. Place the tart in the oven, reduce the heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the eggs are cooked through. If not, cook for an additional 5 or 10 minutes until the center no longer jiggles.

Serves 4 to 6

Stealthy Cooking Tip: If you have cheese, feel free to grate a little bit on top of this tart. A sharp cheese will add a punch of flavor.