Special of the Day: Spotlight on Rhubarb!

18 Jun Special of the Day: Spotlight on Rhubarb!

Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over Warmed Brie

Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over Warmed Brie

George-Sydne-food-300x204When my good friend Jenny, who happens to live a hop, skip and jump away (lucky me!) offered up space to plant whatever my heart desired in her newly tilled community garden, I could hardly wait to get over there and put in a row of mixed greens and spinach. Checking on the progress of the seeds the other day, I couldn’t help but notice a robust rhubarb plant calling my name from the corner of the garden. I quickly texted Jenny, who happened to be out of town at the time, to get permission to cut some rhubarb, and before I knew it I was back in the kitchen cooking up some delightful recipes with rhubarb!

While commonly used in baking, rhubarb’s tart slightly sweet flavor, when simmered in fresh orange juice, sugar and Grand Marnier makes a refreshing compote for warmed brie, served with crackers.

Adding rhubarb to muffin batter yields a pleasing result as the rhubarb bakes and softens, imparting its unique flavor and moistness. A crown of streusel topping makes these mini muffins marvelous.

And filling pounded chicken with rhubarb, celery and shallot stuffing may sound unusual, but the result is irresistible, especially after the roulades are breaded in almonds, baked and served over lemon butter orzo.

With thanks to Jenny for sharing her rhubarb with me, I give you this week’s Special of the Day: Spotlight on Rhubarb and irresistible recipes for Rhubarb Streusel Mini Muffins, Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over Warmed Brie and Almond-encrusted Rhubarb Chicken Roulades. Enjoy!

Recipes and food photography by Sydne George

Rhubarb Streusel Mini Muffins

Rhubarb Streusel Mini Muffins

Rhubarb Streusel Mini Muffins

Recipe by Sydne George

(makes about 36 mini muffins)

Make the streusel:

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

¼ tsp. salt

Using pastry blender, mix all streusel ingredients in medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.

Make the mini muffins:

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups cake flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

½ cup sour cream

½ cup buttermilk

1 cup rhubarb, chopped

1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line mini muffin pan with papers.

Using electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.

Sift dry ingredients. Alternate adding dry ingredients with sour cream and buttermilk until incorporated. Mix in rhubarb and almond extract.

Spoon muffin batter into mini muffin pan, filling 2/3 of the way full. Top with streusel topping to cover.

Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until set.

Remove from oven and serve warm with butter.


Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over Warmed Brie

Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over Warmed Brie

Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over Warmed Brie

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves 6-8 as an appetizer)

1 cup rhubarb, chopped

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp. fresh orange peel

1 tbsp. Grand Marnier

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add Grand Marnier.

Spoon Rhubarb-Grand Marnier Compote over a wedge of brie and warm briefly in microwave, just until cheese begins to melt.

Serve warm with crackers.


Almond-encrusted Rhubarb Chicken Roulades

Almond-encrusted Rhubarb Chicken Roulades

Almond-encrusted Rhubarb Chicken Roulades

Recipe by Sydne George

(Serves 4)

Make the rhubarb filling:

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. shallots, minced

½ cup celery, chopped

1 cup rhubarb, chopped

¼ tsp. salt

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

¼ tsp. almond extract

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and cook shallots and celery until softened. Add rhubarb, salt, red wine vinegar and sugar and cook until reduced. (Until most of the liquid evaporates.) Add almond extract and set aside.

3 tbsp. butter

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup almond slices

½ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pound chicken to a thickness of ¼ inch.

Set up breading stations (in shallow dishes) of:

Flour + salt

Eggs + water

Almond slices

Lay pounded chicken breasts out on work surface.

Spoon rhubarb filling in center of each chicken breast.

Roll each chicken breast up around the rhubarb filling into a roulade, being careful to keep rhubarb contained in center. Secure with two toothpicks.

Bread each roulade first in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then almonds to coat.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Brown roulades in melted butter and both sides, just until golden.

Remove from pan and transfer to buttered baking sheet, leaving room between roulades.

Bake roulades in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, just until juices run clear.

Serve got over cooked orzo (or other pasta) with butter and lemon.


Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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