My rhubarb jungle

Looking for ways to use rhubarb

My garden is practically overrun with a prodigious amount of rhubarb.  I’ve already frozen what I can fit in the freezer.  I figured I needed to expand my horizons and look for new ways to use up this bounty — foods that didn’t pack as many calories as desserts or coffee cakes.

I browsed the internet for ideas and came up with two recipes — one for Rhubarb Salsa (http://shinycooking.com/foodbuzz-24-24-24-rhubarb-its-not-just-for-pie-anymore).  And one for Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices (http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/26/recipe-of-the-day-lentil-and-rhubarb-stew-with-indian-spices/).

Here’s the recipe for the Rhubarb Salsa:

2 c finely diced rhubarb
1/2 c each sweet red and sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, tops only, chopped (I used shallots instead)
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I didn’t have this, so I added a dash of Sriracha sauce instead)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper

Blanch rhubarb in a pot of boiling water  for 10 seconds.  Remove from heat and dump into a strainer.  Rinse under cold water.  Place the cooled rhubarb into a glass bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Salsa ingredients: diced rhubarb and diced sweet peppers

Lightly blanched rhubarb

Rhubarb salsa

The verdict?  This salsa is really good.  I love it with salty corn chips, but it would also go great with hamburgers or chicken burgers.  I’ll definitely make this again!

Rhubarb salsa with chips

And here is the recipe for Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices:

Combine the following in a saucepan, and then add enough water to cover by about 1 inch (I used some ham broth and water):
3-4 stalks rhubarb
1 c dry orange lentils
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 dried ancho, or other mild chili, optional (I omitted this)
salt

Cook at a steady simmer until soft, about 20 minutes.  Remove cloves and cardamom pods. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Sliced rhubarb for stew

In the saucepan: lentils, mustard seeds, two cloves, and four cardamom pods

Ginger and garlic

Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices

The verdict?  I liked it, but my daughter thought it was too sour.  One of my sisters loves sauerkraut — I’ll have to make this stew the next time she visits.

Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices

Rotisserie Chicken

November 7, 2009

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Rotisserie chicken from Costco

I find the rotisserie chickens from Costco a great convenience on days when I don’t want to cook a big dinner.  It feels like a pricey indulgence compared to cooking a chicken from scratch, but stretching the leftovers into another meal or two turns the purchase into a good buy.

Here are the meals we enjoyed from our most recent rotisserie chicken:

  • We ate everything but the breasts for our first chicken dinner, served with homemade corn bread, green beans, cranberry salad, and apple pie for dessert (dinner for 3). 
  • I set aside a few slices of white meat for sandwiches for my lunches (3 lunches) 
  • I used the rest of the leftover breast meat in a stew made with garbanzo beans, cauliflower, and a bit of diced pepper, all cooked together in Trader Joe’s masala simmering sauce. I served the stew over quinoa (dinner for 3). 
  •  And finally, I poured hot water over the jellied juices at the bottom of chicken platter from the store , and then I froze this broth for soups at some later date. 
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The first big meal of chicken

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Sandwiches with leftover sliced chicken

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Chicken stew in masala simmering sauce