Saturday, June 18, 2011

suh suh suh summatime

With every blossoming of summer comes my inevitable craving for strawberry rhubarb pie. That sweet, yet tangy and slightly bitter melange of pink fruit with tender and flaky pastry promises memories of Rhinebeck summers, mosquito bites and sticky thunderstorms. Having recently discovered my work team's similar affinity for the "pink celery", I decided to give my mom a call and retrieve her famous recipe. To be sure, there are staples in a family home that a college kid doesn't realize she is lacking until moments like these. Rolling out pie dough is certainly a great deal more difficult when one is rolling on a piece of parchment with a wine bottle instead of a rolling pin. Nonetheless, the rounds were formed, the pie assembled and baked without a hitch. To my wonderful surprise, it turned out exactly like my mother's. The dough wasn't tough, the fruit was heavenly soft with still a bit of bite. With about three cups of chopped rhubarb remaining, I decided to take on a challenge of my own. One of the girls on my team is allergic to both gluten and dairy. Tapping into my creative resource, I took a risk and attempted a gluten-free, dairy-free rhubarb crisp. I thickened the filling with rice flour and made the topping out of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats, brown sugar, honey, pecans, powdered ginger and vegetable oil. To mine and Katie's delight it was quite a success. Instead of a chunky crisp-like topping, it was more of a rhubarb compote with a crispy, browned, granola crust. I will most certainly be repeating this many times.


2 1/2 c flour
1/2 lb butter (2sticks) cold, cut into dice
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1/4 c ice water

Assemble all ingredients, preparing butter last to keep cold.
Lay out a cross of plastic wrap
fix ice water

Process flour, salt and sugar;
add butter, pulse about 7 or 8 times until large sort of peas
with machine running, add ice water in driblets. Pinch some dough, it should hold together between your fingers.
You may or may not need all of the water.
Empty dough onto plastic wrap, enclose, shaping into a disk.
Refrigerate at least one hour.


About 2 baskets of strawberries give or take
About 3 or 4 stalks of rhubarb give or take
3/4 c. sugar or to taste
1 T flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Flour a board or surface, very helpful to have a bench scraper here.
Divide dough in half. Roll out dough gently, rotating in a circle, careful not to roll to much or it will toughen.
Place in pie pan, trim edges with 1" overhang.
Fill pie, refrigerate. Repeat with remaining dough, cover pie, pinch edges, tucking under and making a supportive edge.

Slash pie 4 times, sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake about 45 min to an hour give or take, covering the top with foil if it browns too quickly


3 Cups chopped rhubarb
scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 T rice flour

1.5 cups gluten free oats
3 T brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 oil
1 t powdered ginger
drizzle of honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Put the fruit mixture in a baking dish and cover with topping. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is brown.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

And the leftovers persist...

If you read the last post (see old blog), you will recall the large quantities of leftovers at our house. Due to a brief stint in Portland and the fact that work has been feeding us this week, those leftovers remain. As a result, upon opening the fridge this evening, I found a large sack of salami staring me in the face. While not normally a huge salami fan, I am a college student and we are not inclined to discard donated and therefore free food. Luckily, our team used the two hours we had to kill this morning to make a group excursion to the farmers market. After reading an article in the New York Times reiterating the glory of asparagus, I bought some. It was fresh and cheap. I bought two large bundles because I have been eating it like wildfire burning through a canyon, and my team mates have not hesitated to point out this fact. As such, I washed a few stalks and cut them into inch sized pieces. I then julienned some salami, diced a tomato and put some baby greens in a bowl. I sauteed the salami until crisp, removed them from the pan onto a brown bag to soak up the grease. I sauteed the asparagus pieces and tossed the greens and tomato in a smidge of ceasar dressing. On top of that went the tomato, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, the warm asparagus and the crispy salami. All in all, a very satisfying summer evening supper.