Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rhubarb: The Crimson Celery

Rhubarb: The "Red Celery" Looking Plant

I chose Rhubarb as the first ingredient for individual.ingredients. Honestly, my mom bought some a couple hours ago and I thought "I hope she makes something with it right now so I don't eat a bag of oreos and ice cream". I enjoy a Rhubarb pie, or Rhubarb marmalade, but thought...what else can be done with it. I was also curious about where it came from, why it looks so much like celery, and why its sweet?

When Rhubarb is in the produce area of the market, it is cut from its toxic leaves, cleaned, sometimes packaged, and always starred at with confused looks. The big questions are "What do I do with that?", "Why is that celery red?", at least in LA, anyway...

Rhubarb is grown in hothouses for the consumer to make into a gooey pie filling overflowing onto flakey crust with vanilla ice cream melting slowly on top. But, it originally was grown in Asia, wild by the River Volga, and later grown and used as medical remedies by the Mongolians. Rhubarb came to America with European settlers and moved to be grown in the heated areas of the West.

Well, thankfully my mom did make something out of this interesting plant! Rhubarbsauce with white chocolate sauce! (not the best health option either but it will do)
I am not quite sure what she did, but this is what I would do!

1-1/2 pounds Rhubarb cut in 3 or 4 inch stalks
1/4 cup water
1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tsp cornstarch and water

Arrange the rhubarb, water, sugar, and salt in a pot over the stove. On Medium heat, allow the ingredients to become a sauce. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a small amount of cornstarch water mixture to the sauce to thicken. Stir until consistency is how you like. Put rhubarbsauce into small glass cups and set in refrigerator. Let cool!

White Chocolate Sauce
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tbs butter

In a double boiler, add butter to top pan until melted. Add white chocolate chips to melted butter. Stir until chocolate is continuously smooth and shiny. When rhubarbsauce is cooled, remove from refrigerator and drizzle white chocolate sauce on top in any beautiful design your heart desires.

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