I’ve been a little MIA. I got knocked out with a flu (not swine) and haven’t cooked anything in over a week. Funny how quickly we can lose all interest in food. The good news is that I am feeling better and returning to a normal schedule. Luckily, there are some things I cooked a couple of weeks ago that I still have not told you about.
My counter runneth over with rhubarb in recent weeks. A combination of impulse buying at the market and a generous gift from my friend Karin’s mom had me faced with a few pounds of rhubarb that I needed to do something with.
My first solution was to make some delicious blini which I served with some whipped cream and a simple rhubarb sauce to accompany. I was attracted to this recipe for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that these little silver dollars can be frozen! I was skeptical when I read this but it turns out to be true. I froze a couple of stacks and they defrosted and reheated perfectly. This could be especially useful if you want to serve these to guests but don’t want to spend your time forming blini while they anxiously wait.
I also made a chilled rhubarb soup, which I loved. Cold dessert soups are such a refreshing end to a summer meal and this one is simple to make but complexly flavored thanks to the addition of ginger. It was especially good with some sliced strawberries or whole raspberries floating in the soup. A sprinkle of candied pistachios would also be lovely. Either way you go, rhubarb remains one of my favorite kitchen ingredients and I have been glad to have them around.
Rhubarb Soup (recipe by Claudia Fleming)
- 6 1/2 cups sliced, trimmed rhubarb (about 2 pounds trimmed)
- 1 1/2 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups simple syrup
Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break down the rhubarb. Force the soup through a medium sieve, discarding the solids.
Pour the soup into a bowl and let cool completely. Chill the soup until cold, at least 3 hours. Serve cold.
Blini (recipe by Claudia Fleming)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, separated
- 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolk. Slowly drizzly the oil into the egg yolk, whisking constantly so the mixture emulsifies like mayo. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture and milk. Whisk well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2- 2 hours.
In a metal bowl, beat the egg white with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Fold the egg white into the risen blini batter.
Heat a heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the pan lightly with butter. Add about 2 tablespoons of the batter to the pan for each blini, forming little pancakes. Cook until the bottoms are golden and small bubbles appear on the top, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until just browned on the other side, about a minute. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Continue making blini with the remaining batter. The blini can be enjoyed immediately or frozen for up to 1 week. Wrap them in foil and reheat in a 350 oven before serving.
These were great served with some simple rhubarb compote (I cooked down some sliced rhubarb with sugar, orange juice, orange zest and a cinnamon stick) and a little whipped cream or crème fraîche but would also be delicious with other fruits or in a savory presentation.
Sarah (Coffee Beans and Curry Leaves) says:
June 1st, 2009 at 10:25 am
Glad you’re feeling better! That rhubarb soup sounds divine! Can’t wait to try the recipe.
June 1st, 2009 at 10:28 am
Rhubarb is definitely in the air – a sure sign of summer – and I wish I’d had this recipe when I used mine up this weekend!
Lin Lin Shao says:
June 1st, 2009 at 12:00 pm
yes, glad to hear you are feeling better indeed and back in the kitchen. im a new fan to your site and i love the colorful pics. keep up the cake recipes. i’d love to try them all! i made the busy day cake, but will need to try them again and tweak the baking time for cupcakes. love the fresh nutmeg flavor!!
The Duo Dishes says:
June 1st, 2009 at 12:07 pm
That looks great on the blini. Very nice touch.
June 1st, 2009 at 1:07 pm
I’ve never had rhubarb, but this looks like a great place to start. Thanks for the recipes!
June 1st, 2009 at 2:13 pm
Great ways to enjoy rhubarb!
karey m. says:
June 1st, 2009 at 10:36 pm
your site…my heart is sort of racing! you make me believe i can actually finally maybe for sure cook something!
so i had to kirtsy you. and bookmark you.
June 2nd, 2009 at 7:37 am
every year, around this time, it feels like a freakin rhubarb epidemic in my house — i just can’t stop buying the beautiful stalks, then I have to get creative with ways to eat the whole damn lot, as my sweety doesn’t care for it…
I recommend making rhubarb jam, if you get in a pinch!
Karin's Mom says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 10:01 am
I was mentioned in your blog! I am touched. I think you should make a double batch of everything you make and sell the excess. I know I would be the first in line!
June 3rd, 2009 at 5:49 pm
I’d love the rhubarb sauce recipe!!
June 3rd, 2009 at 9:33 pm
Karin’s Mom: How about I just make you things in exchange for rhubarb?!
June 4th, 2009 at 10:59 am
It all looks so gorgeous! I love the idea of using rhubarb for a dessert soup–most of the other fruit desserts don’t do much for me. And the blini…wonderful!
Sarah D. (Motown Maiden) says:
June 5th, 2009 at 8:05 am
I am a rhubarb addict and can’t wait to try this recipe! Love you site – every time I see one of your photos I instantly get hungry and want to go make something in the kitchen :)
June 7th, 2009 at 4:12 am
Glad to hear you’re feeling better. I was knocked out of the kitchen with the flu for two weeks, and only in the past couple of days have I felt up to cooking again. Up until then it was all broth & ginger ale. I can’t wait to try the rhubarb soup. I’ve been making this rhubarb-tart-cake with the stuff from my garden, but it’ll be nice to try something different for a change.
June 7th, 2009 at 4:14 am
oh forgot to link to the recipe!
June 7th, 2009 at 8:06 am
Casey: That is a seriously beautiful cake! Will try that recipe soon.
June 7th, 2009 at 10:48 am
Beautiful. But you remind me of a question I have had about blini (which I have made, with buckwheat flour, on a couple of occasions): You raise with yeast. You beat eggwhites. Both! And you end up with — pancakes. What is that all about? Just to make you earn your caviar (or rhubarb compote)?
June 7th, 2009 at 11:21 am
I think we do it for the toasty-nutty flavor of the yeast! At least that is why I think I do it. Pancakes are good too.
December 4th, 2009 at 5:40 pm
Hi, I just got here through Google…it’s good to discover such a beautiful blog. I’m going to wander around a bit more and will definitely come back!