On St. Patrick’s Day I was the guest chef in the demo kitchen at FRESH by Brookshires in Tyler. I was able to spend the day cooking in that shiny new kitchen, meeting all the food lovers who came by to see what smelled so great! I made a fresh Irish stew which everyone loved, even folks who thought they wouldn’t like lamb or stew in general. That was fun! Christine made a wonderful appetizer: she combined Cashel blue cheese with chopped pears and chopped walnuts and topped little toasts with it, and that was enjoyed by everyone, as well. Cashel is a lovely blue cheese; from Ireland, it is creamy, not crumbly, and less pungent than the blue cheese you expect it to taste like.
The grand finale was Rhubarb-Ginger Crumble. Just the word rhubarb caused some people to turn their noses up at first, but most were willing to give in and try a bite. What they didn’t expect was the sweet-tart flavor that woke up their mouths and made them say “wow!” It made my heart happy when several women took a bite, closed their eyes and said “ohhhhhh, this reminds me of my grandmother’s pie when I was a little girl…” It’s so lovely when food evokes pleasant memories for us.
Many people took copies of the recipe as they walked away, heading over to check out the lovely rhubarb and fresh ginger in the produce department. Maybe you’d like to try it, too. Here’s the recipe with a couple of pictures I managed to snap in our busy little kitchen!
from Saveur Magazine
2 lbs. rhubarb stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
1⁄4″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
14 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Put rhubarb and ginger into a medium bowl and toss together, mixing thoroughly. Transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle 2 cups of the sugar over rhubarb mixture and set aside.
2. Whisk flour, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar together in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two table knives, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal flecked with pea-size pieces of butter. Scatter topping evenly over rhubarb mixture.
3. Transfer dish to oven and bake until topping is golden brown and rhubarb is soft, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before serving warm, or allow to cool to room temperature.
I wish I’d gotten a picture of the inside of the crumble; the rhubarb is so pink and pretty and the topping is so nicely textured and pale yellow. It reminds me of spring! What a great thing to serve for Easter!
I hope you’ll be brave and give it a try; I think you’re going to really like its special sweet-tartness, especially alongside some vanilla ice cream!