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How To Pick Perfect Rhubarb

June9

How to Pick Perfect Rhubarb

Rhubarb has always reminded me of blushing celery, even though the two are not related.

Celery only comes in one color, but rhubarb has an entire collection of lipstick shades. Besides soft pale pink, rhubarb’s long stalks can range in color from light green to vibrant magenta.

How to Pick Perfect Rhubarb

This springtime vegetable (yes, it’s a veggie, not a fruit) has a make-you-pucker tartness, so it’s usually gussied up with sugar or spices. Most rhubarb-based recipes lean toward the sweeter side. Strawberries pair beautifully with rhubarb. You can sub rhubarb for up to half of the strawberries in many recipes, but you’ll need to bump-up the amount of sweetener.

Rhubarb’s tartness also works with savory dishes. I like to simmer it until very tender, add a touch of sugar and use it as a marinade for pork tenderloin or chicken.

How to Pick Perfect RhubarbIt’s not always necessary, but sometimes I “string” my rhubarb to get rid of particularly thick and tough fibers. I use my vegetable peeler to peel down the length of the stalk (a paring knife works just as well).

Oh, and one good-to-know tip: the stalks of the rhubarb are the only edible part… the leaves are poisonous. They won’t kill you, but they can cause real stomach distress. And even though you’re going to cut them off and throw them away, rhubarb leaves should be green and fresh looking, not wilted or brown.

Rhubarb is in season right this minute. I’ve pulled together a few Rhubarb Rules to consider so you’ll know how to pick perfect rhubarb every time!

How To Pick Perfect Rhubarb


How to Make Drawn Butter (Tutorial)

December26

King Crab Legs: http://mom.me/food/16627-king-crab-legs-drawn-butter/If you’re having a small New Year’s gathering (or if it’s just the two of you), I’ve got a great suggestion: King Crab Legs with Drawn Butter.King Crab Legs: http://mom.me/food/16627-king-crab-legs-drawn-butter/

Easy. Elegant. Oh, yes, a bit expensive (which makes it extra special!).

King Crab is sweet and delicious, and unless you live in Alaska or further up north, it’s already cooked (and frozen) when you buy it. All you have to do is thaw, reheat and eat!

There are several ways to prepare King Crab, but I like to steam-reheat them in the oven. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it, click here.

Because this is a special night, I like to serve them with drawn butter (also called clarified butter). Drawn butter is butter that has been melted with the milk solids removed. You can also season it with herbs or lemon juice if you like. Drawn butter is also great to drizzle onto steamed vegetables.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for How To Make Drawn Butter:

Clarified Butter

prep: 5 minutes
cook: 15 minutes

serves 6, 2 tablespoons each

you’ll need… 

½ pound butter

let’s get to it…

1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan on low heat.

How To Make Drawn Butter... a step-by-step tutorial! http://mamashighstrung.com/blog/?p=11073

2. Milk solids (in the form of white foam) will cloud the top: DO NOT STIR.

How To Make Drawn Butter... a step-by-step tutorial! http://mamashighstrung.com/blog/?p=11073

3. When butter is completely melted and small bubbles  begin to form around the edge, turn off heat. Let stand 3 minutes.

How To Make Drawn Butter... a step-by-step tutorial! http://mamashighstrung.com/blog/?p=11073

4. With a small ladle or spoon, skim off the milk solids.

How To Make Drawn Butter... a step-by-step tutorial! http://mamashighstrung.com/blog/?p=11073

5. You’ve made drawn butter! Try not to disturb any milk solids remaining on the bottom of the saucepan when you pour it bowls for dipping the crab.

How To Make Drawn Butter... a step-by-step tutorial! http://mamashighstrung.com/blog/?p=11073

 

For more Kitchen How-To and Tips, Check out my Extra Helpings Tab!

 


How to Open a Pomegranate

December2

Mama's High Strung - How to open a pomegranateWhen I was a kid growing up in West Texas, we used to pick pomegranates off of trees, throw them to the ground to break them open, and eat the delicious seeds inside.

I know… raised by wolves, right? 

Seriously, pomegranates are my favorite winter fruit. They are bright and slightly acidic and add a punch to everything (oh, I get it, kind of like me!). Seriously. Seriously.

The downside to pomegranates is that they stain EVERYTHING. If you look at them, they’ll stain your eyeballs. That’s just their nature… trying to protect themselves from being thrown to the ground, broken open and eaten, I guess!

But I digress…

Here’s how to open a pomegranate. Your beautifully crisp white J. Crew shirt will never again be soiled by a drop of ruby-red color. Someday, you’ll thank me.

What’s the secret? A big bowl of water! Click here to find out how to open a pomegranate.


Get Your Kids in the Kitchen!

December1

Need some help in the kitchen, but your volunteers are barely able to see over the counter top? Don’t despair… put them to work!

I’ve said it again and again, but some of my best memories are of being with my kids in the kitchen. It’s where they can learn about food, as well as some very basic life skills.Kids in the kitchen They’ll also learn about kitchen safety and cleanliness, something that they’ll use the rest of their lives.

But, most important: make sure YOU have the time to help them! You don’t want to be rushing to get dinner on the table. You’ll need a lot of patience because the first few times they assist you, they’re not going to know what to do!

Kids from about 3-years-old can start helping (if they want!). I’m not a slave driver, but getting kids in the kitchen is a great way for them to learn about team work and that cooking can be fun.

Kids like to eat what they’ve had a hand in preparing, so you might get them to try some foods they’ve vowed they’d never eat. Most important, you’ll get the chance to really be with them… to hear their stories and inner secrets. And, if you have more than one child helping you, learn how to stand back and just listen to the conversation between and among them.

That’s how Mama finds out what’s REALLY going on in their lives…

For a breakdown on age-appropriate tasks, and more ideas on how to get your kids in the kitchen, Click Here.

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Hi…
I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mamashighstrung@gmail.com