Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena

Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena
It's possible you've asked yourself since my return from Ireland: "What has Becki been busy with since  her epic Irish cookery adventure?" Naturally, I've been happily cooking whenever the occasion may arise (Friday night backyard BBQ's! Birthday dinners for parents! Cupcakes for birthdays!) and, unfortunately, haven't found time to blog Ballymaloe inspired recipes, but Rhubarb Compote was just gorgeous enough to push me back into the blogger saddle, giving you a deserved update + a sumptuous way to eat the early summer staple rhubarb. Now, who doesn't love that?


Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena
Since leaving Ballymaloe, I've been cooking on the catering team at Whole Foods Market in Minneapolis. Any professional NBA/MLB/NHL sports team departing Minneapolis International on Delta Airlines will be noshing catered food from our team. The volume to leave that kitchen is exceptional leading me to become more efficiently organized in the professional kitchen. Darina would abhor the amount of waste at WFM, but I've got to hold onto the hope I can (and know how to!) do different in my own kitchen. 

When not in the Whole Foods kitchen, I stay involved with my boys at school, but, like, yay summer! 

Thankfully, the Buffalo community has been a vibrant place to share my cookery skills. Last weekend, I spearheaded a crepe stand at the Rustic Garden. The menu consisted of sweet or savory crepes — Rhubarb Compote with Confectioner's Sugar or the savory version of Ham, Caramelized Onion and Havarti. Both were really popular and utterly delicious. The next upcoming market will be Saturday, October 8th from 9-4. Make sure to come on down and see me! 

Stay tuned for my BHM Community Education classes. You can expect a Farmer's Market Tour & Kitchen Meal in September where we'll tour the Buffalo Farmer's Market, learn how to select exceptional produce from the so-so, and finally, get into the kitchen to prepare a meal together using the produce we've found. In October, I'll be leading a Knife Skills class where we'll learn how to fine chop an onion, then graduate to filleting a whole chicken. 

The modern day autograph is a selfie. #magnusnilsson #magnusnordic #Mpls Happily, it's not all work, but some play. Like when I met Magnus Nilsson at The American Swedish Institute. Yelp! Major Chef Crush!! He is so talented and eloquent. Have you seen Mind of a Chef?! Maybe he'll open a restaurant in Minneapolis?!

And, finally, besides all that busy busy I hope to continue honing my writing ability. I've pitched my Ballymaloe story to a few publications and hey, maybe you'll see my story in writing somewhere. Until then, I'll be here, writing recipes for you! Now, tell me...what have YOU been busy with?

Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena

Printable Recipe Here

A decidely tart rendition of rhubarb sauce, your tastebuds may desire more sugar. Add additional half cup increments after the rhubarb has broken down. The lemon verbena leaves a floral essence in its wake, but could be omitted. 

Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena

Yield: 6 Pints

16 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1" pieces
4-6 cups granulated cane sugar, to taste
1/2 cup water
4 or 5 sprigs lemon verbena

In a large stock pot, combine rhubarb, sugar, and water. Bring to a bubble over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Throw in lemon verbena sprigs. Turn heat down maintaining a slight bubble, simmering gently for 1-2 hours, or until thickened to desired consistency. 

Taste for seasoning, if desired, add more sugar and dissolve. Remove and discard lemon verbena sprigs. Spoon compote into pint containers, store, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week or freeze, up to 12 months. 

Serve over vanilla ice cream, aside pork chops, stuff crepes, stir into muffin and pancake batter, eat with a spoon.