Friday, June 15, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

If I could transport a piece of this amazingly delicious pie to you via the Internet, I would. Oh the wonders of the combination of strawberries and rhubarb! They were meant to go together, each playing off the other like yin/yang...sweetness and tartness...opposites that attract.   That and some vanilla ice cream makes it all a little bit of heaven.

The recipe I found was simply a rhubarb pie. But I added strawberries to the action because I wanted to. So there. It's a rather old-fashioned combination that I love.

The crumb topping is divine.  Do yourself a favor - make this pie! There is nothing in the world like a slice of home made fruit pie.

For the crust
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) COLD, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 TBL ice water

For the crust

1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar, pulsing a few times to mix.

2. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse about 6-7 times until it looks like coarse meal.

3. Add the 2 TBL ice water, pulsing to mix. Do not over mix! (that's what makes a tough crust). The mixture should hold together when squeezed. If it is still too dry to hold together, add more ice water, ONE TBL AT A TIME.

You can see parts of it holding together...still a little crumbly. This is how it should look.

4. Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and knead ONCE or TWICE. Bring the wrap up over the dough and form into a disk. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day.

For the pie

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, dried and chopped into quarters (about 3 cups)
3/4 pound fresh rhubarb, rinsed, ends trimmed, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 C sugar
2 TBL cornstarch
pinch of salt

For the pie

1.  Take the refrigerated dough out to warm up for only a few minutes. On a floured surface, roll the pastry to a 14 inch round (roll from the middle out, turning the pastry every time. Roll, turn, roll turn.)

2. Using the rolling pin, gently place the dough into a 9 inch pie tin. Carefully fit the dough into the bottom and sides of tin, being careful not to stretch or tear.

3. Using shears or a knife, trim the edge of the dough to a 1 inch overhang, fold under and press to seal. You can use the tines of a fork, or you can crimp (my favorite way to do it).

4. Refrigerate the crust for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 400 with rack in lowest position. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Gently spoon the fruit into the prepared pie shell. Sprinkle with the Crumble Topping (recipe below). Place pie on a foil lined baking sheet and place in oven. Immediately reduce heat to 375.

6. Bake until topping is browned and crust is lightly browned (about 1 1/2 hours). If the topping or crust begins to brown too much, tent the pie with foil.

Cool completely before serving (or you will have a runny mess!).

For the topping

3/4 C all purpose flour
1/3 C packed brown sugar
3 TBL granulated sugar
pinch of salt
6 TBL COLD unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the topping

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugars and salt. With your hands, rub in the butter (this means smashing together!) until large moist clumps form. Use immediately, or chill until it's time to top the pie.

Tah- Dah!   Now, go have a slice of pie!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summertime Soba Salad with Shrimp, Sprouts (green beans)

This is great for a quick and easy, cool summertime dinner! I love this recipe. 

Soba noodles have a rich, nutty flavor that is unlike any other noodle because they are made from buckwheat. Highly nutritious and full of fiber and flavor. How do I know? I found it on the Internet, of course!  (I'm a singer not a nutritionist, silly ).  

Here's how to do it:

coarse salt
1 bag of green beans (I like Trader Joe's because they are always fresh)
1 pound frozen shrimp (again....Trader Joe's) Peeled, deveined, thawed
3/4 pound soba noodles (roughly one package of noodles - not one bundle!)
3 TBL soy souce
1 TBL toasted sesame oil
1 TBL rice vinegar
1 TBL sugar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 C fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
Bean sprouts


1. Cook the green beans by putting the bag in the microwave for 4 minutes (directions are on the bag). Alternately, you can steam or boil them until just cooked, then stop the cooking by putting them into a bowl of ice water, then strain. Set aside.

2. Fill a large pot with water and a bit of salt (about a tsp) and bring it to a boil.

3. Add the shrimp and cook until just pink, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.

4. Bring the water up to a boil again. Add the noodles and cook for about 6 minutes, then drain the noodles and rinse under cold water.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. 

To serve, divide noodles among 4 bowls, top with shrimp & green beans. Drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with the scallions and torn basil leaves, and bean sprouts.