Friday, August 26, 2011

Happiness is...Rhubarb Chutney

I have a Dear Friend who grows Rhubarb in her backyard, and from time to time she will lavish me with a bow-tied bundle. 

The same friend who provides me with the delicious ruby red stalks, made the most wonderful Lemon Custard Rhubarb Pie, that I'm kvelling over nearly 2 months later. That was one delicious pie...A creamy, sweet, sour, refreshing bit of Heaven that pie was.

On my own I have done the Rhubarb Pie, the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, Red Wine Braised Rhubarb, Raspberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Topping, and even a Rhubarb Upside-down cake.

Now I'm all about something a little more exotic, a little more sweet-savory, a little more...chutney.

I've done all sorts of chutneys, from apple to mango and even green tomato.  So why not Rhubarb?

Funny thing about chutney, it's transformative.  Chutney makes pork and ham elegant, magically makes a simple hunk of cheese and a bit of bread a grilled cheese masterpiece, and bring it out at a party and suddenly everyone is wowed.

All from a few slices of fruit, a bit of onion, a little sugar, a few pinches of spice, a splash of vinegar, and a tiny piece of time.

 Rhubarb Chutney

1 T. Olive Oil
1/2 a medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
1/2 lb. Rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 c. seedless Raisins
1/4 c. dried Cranberries ~or~ Cherries
1 1/2 t. freshly grated Ginger Root
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 t. Curry Powder
a pinch or 2 of Kosher Salt
1/4 c + 1 T. packed Brown Sugar
1 T. Grand Marnier (optional)
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

Heat the Olive Oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook the Yellow Onion until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the Rhubarb, Raisins, dried Cranberries, Brown Sugar, grated Ginger Root, cinnamon sticks, and a pinch of Kosher Salt. Cook over medium, stirring,stirring, stirring, until rhubarb begins to break down, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the Curry Powder, Grand Marnier and Balsamic Vinegar. Continue cooking and stirring until the liquid thickens and the Rhubarb is tender but not completely mushy.

Remove from the heat. Let the chutney cool slightly and then remove the cinnamon sticks. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Chill completely in your cooling box.  Store chilled.

Makes about 2 cups of chutney.

As I deal in cheese, I would suggest pairing this Rhubarb Chutney with a sharp cheddar, such as Kerrygold's Vintage Irish Cheddar, or with a milder brie, like Marin Rouge et Noir Brie, and a bit of crusty bread.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious!! I love rhubarb when it's well cooked!