Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

These are trying times when it's difficult to impossible to get out of the house and go to the store, and the times bring cooking innovation to new heights. Spring rhubarb is making a great showing in my garden. A couple of days ago, I made a great rhubarb compote, and now I'm craving p-i-e. You already know that strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my all time favorites, but I don't have any strawberries. I do have blueberries, so this recipe is born of innovation and practicality. There's also a new crust recipe, as I don't have a lot of olive oil, but I do have a lots of butter. This crust uses half the amount of butter as a regular butter crust, and substitutes olive oil for the remainder. The result is a buttery crust, one that's got a great crispy crumb, yet has a (modicum) of health!

Ingredients:

3 cups blueberries
2 cups sliced rhubarb
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch

Pastry

2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup ice cold water, plus an extra Tbs, if needed

1 tsp butter
1 tsp soy or almond milk
1 tsp turbinado sugar

Directions:

Combine blueberries, rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. Mix the flour with the butter and olive oil, sugar and salt, and combine with two forks until the mixture is the size of peas. Add the ice cold water by the tablespoon until the mixture forms a ball. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Roll the pie dough into three 7 or 8 inch rounds. (Save one of the rounds for another use.) Transfer one the pastry rounds to a 7 or 8 inch pie plate. Trim the pastry even with the edge of the pie plate. Stir the blueberry rhubarb filling and pour into the pie crust. Top the filling with small pieces of butter. Top with a second crust. Seal the edge, crimp, and either make cut outs in the top crust or slice a design in the crust with a knife. Use a pastry brush to brush milk on top of the crust. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of the crust.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Reduce the heat to 350 and cook for about 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is visibly bubbling. Remove the pie, let cool, and enjoy either warm or cold.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This particular combination tastes more like blueberries than rhubarb. Depending on your taste, you can adjust the amount of blueberries and rhubarb. I think this would be excellent using 3 cups of rhubarb and only 2 cups of blueberries. 


Thursday, March 12, 2020

BBQ Pork Bowl

Considering my love for bowls, it's been way too long since I posted a bowl recipe. Here's one that honors Southern traditional foods, then puts them all together in one bowl. It's got a little bit of each of my favorite Southern foods!

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin
1 tsp BBQ seasoning
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups okra, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Tbs corn meal
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbs low fat mayonnaise
2 Tbs BBQ sauce
2 cups chopped greens, kale or spinach
2 cups microwave rice or rice/quinoa blend
1 small can black eye peas
2 Tbs finely chopped onion

Directions:

Season the tenderloin with the BBQ seasoning. I used Paul Prudhomme's brand, but any brand will work just fine. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the tenderloin and cook until seared on one side, turn one quarter turn and sear again, turning and searing until the tenderloin is seared all around. Each side will take about 2 or 3 minutes to sear, so the whole process will take only a few minutes.  Cut the okra while the pork is cooking, then put the cornmeal in a plastic bag. Toss the okra with the cornmeal. Remove the pork from the skillet when it is seared all around, cover it with a cover, and set aside. It will continue cooking while the okra cooks. Add the teaspoon of butter and olive oil to the skillet, and return to heat. Add the cornmeal coated okra and cook until the okra is done and the cornmeal coating is brown, about 8 minutes. Mix the mayonnaise and BBQ sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Cook the rice or rice blend in the microwave, then remove when done. Place the chopped onion in a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 1 minute, until translucent. Add the black eye peas and cook until hot, about 1 to 2 more minutes. Check to see that the tenderloin is cooked, it will still be slightly pink in the middle, but the juices should not run red. Slice the tenderloin into slices. Arrange the bowls with some of the okra, greens, rice, peas, topping with slices of tenderloin. Drizzle 1 Tbs of the BBQ mayo over the pork and serve.

Serves 4.


Stealthy Cooking Tip: I used pork tenderloin because it's lower in saturated fats then some of the other cuts of pork. Look for low sodium seasonings or BBQ sauces, or better yet, make your own. The other option is similar to what I've done here - use a small amount of the seasonings, and top with a limited amount of the sauce. It everything is moist and fresh, there shouldn't be a need for more saucy toppings.