Cherry-Rhubarb Sauce for Pork

I had some cherries in the freezer that were looking for a special purpose and picked up some rhubarb at last week’s market. If you’re on the hunt for new flavors, this quick dinner meets the need. I adapted it from this recipe, which uses dried cherries.)

one very small onion
3 oz. cherries (fresh or thawed from freezer)
2 large stalks of rhubarb (about 8 oz.)
2 tbls. sugar
1 tbls. vinegar (I used some locally made plum cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar would work nicely, as well.)
1/4 c. water

pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
2-4 pork chops

  1. Mince the onion finely. Drizzle 2 tbls. of olive oil in a saucepan. Put onion on to cook over medium-low until soft (about 10 minutes.)
  2. Trim rhubarb. Remove tough strings, if there are any. Quarter stalks lengthwise and dice coarsely.
  3. Add rhubarb, cherries, sugar, vinegar, and 1/4 c. water to saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high.
  4. Remove lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  5. Keep sauce warm while you cook the pork. (To cook the chops, heat oil, season, and cook over medium for about 4 minutes per side.)
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Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

strawberry rhubarb muffinsThis is a deliciously versatile muffin recipe that bakes up moist and cake-like. It can be made with almost any fruit.  Don’t substitute for the buttermilk. It’s the reason that this recipe works so well!

Makes one dozen muffins.
8 tbls. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 cups AP flour (+ 1 tbls. for fruit)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup strawberries, 1 cup rhubarb

  1. Place paper liners in your muffin pan and preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Prepare the fruit. Rinse, hull, and cut strawberries into small pieces. For rhubarb,chopped fruit cut off any ugly ends and using a paring knife, peel off tough strings. Cut into small, 1 inch pieces. Toss the fruit with 1 tbls. of flour.
  3. Cut the butter into pieces and, using an electric mixer, cream with the sugar and salt until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Continue to beat and add eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add flour and baking powder. Add buttermilk.
  6. Fold in the fruit.
  7. Spoon into the muffin cups and bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

Notes:
-Other variations that are wonderful: blueberry (with a little bit of nutmeg), blackberries and lemon, just plain strawberry
-Adapted from How to Bake, a wonderful baking resource.

Anytime Cake

Have a slice of rhubarb cake anytime.Here’s a light cake that is a wonderful dessert but can also pass as a breakfast treat.  I made it with rhubarb this time, but you could make it with any frozen  fruit that you have stored.

Last summer, my goal was to put away a lot more fresh produce than I had the year before. This goal was fresh in my mind when rhubarb, one of the first ‘fruits’ to appear at the market, came out. Consequently, I wound up with a whole lot of rhubarb hoarded in my freezer.  What are we waiting for?  It’s time to start using those delicious things in the backs of our freezers! Soon, we’ll have some fresh delights.

Anytime Cake (with rhubarb)

1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
3 eggs from happy chickens
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. AP flour, plus more for dusting fruit and pan
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups rhubarb or prepared fruit*

*If you use rhubarb, you’ll swear that you taste citrus in this cake, which is a pleasant illusion. To prepare the rhubarb: wash, peel away any extra-tough strings, and cut into small pieces. This can be done before it goes into the freezer bag. For other fruits, prepare them as you would for a muffin. Use berries straight from the freezer – no need to thaw.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. (This cake mixes up so quickly that you’ll be done before your oven is ready, so think ahead.) Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan. Butter it and dust with flour.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy, using an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  3. Gently beat in the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla.
  5. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan, leaving the rest in the mixing bowl.  Dust the fruit with flour and toss until coated, then add it to the remaining batter. Mix. Pour this batter and fruit mixture onto the batter that is already in Rhubarb cake, just out of the oven and smelling good!the cake pan. (This procedures will keep your fruit from falling to the bottom and sticking to the pan.)
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan for about five minutes and then invert onto a rack.

Serve warm or room temperature anytime of the day. A little sweetened whipped cream or vanilla yogurt is lovely.

If you’re looking for more great rhubarb recipes, you might check out Orangette.