Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ginger rhubarb jam

Also known as a pretty swell reason to dig out every single silver spoon in my collection. (Because I own a lot of spoons too, foodies!! Sorry. I have a spoon pet peeve in the blog world. Too many spoons on the dance floor.)

Not that this jam especially requires the use of a spoon, I've just gotten out of the bread market. I still make it, it's still around, I'd still like to eat an entire loaf by myself, but these days, I'm trying to stay away from it which I guess is the perfect reason to make jam.

I no longer eat toast; therefore, -- and you have to picture me or someone else like me raising a finger in the air defiantly -- I must make jam in all sorts of different fruits every single week! Madness.

So let's see. How does one enjoy jam without bread?

Well, lately I've really gotten into cottage cheese, but I don't want to eat it on it's own. I could slice fruit into it, but that's still kind of like eating it alone except occasionally you're blessed with a slice of banana. Then I remembered those stupid cottage cheese cups at the grocery store. You know the ones? Kind of like fruit on the bottom yogurts but with cottage cheese? I decided I could make my own with a big cheap tub of cottage cheese and some jam stirred in. And it's awesome cuz I'll never have to suffer through pineapple cottage cheese again. Why is pineapple one of your flavours, cottage cheese dudes? And why have you evilly paired it with strawberry? I've had bad experiences with pineapple which may or may not have included someone continually using it as the only spice and flavouring in chili. So unless it's on a pizza, I'm not having it. 

You can also make your own flavoured yogurts by stirring any kind of jam into any kind of plain yogurt (I particularly enjoy plain greek yogurt) which gives you all sorts of different options plus you'll have plain yogurt around to use in savoury dishes, too, so it's essentially pulling double kitchen duty. But you knew all of that, didn't you? I know you did.

I've also enjoyed it dabbed on some lite Laughing Cow cheese. If you've never tried jam and cheese before, I suggest you get right on that. I don't eat it as much as I'd like to anymore, but back in the day, I was eating feta and jam on crackers like I needed it to survive.

And don't forget, you can also use any jam as a glaze or dip for all sorts of meats. I have quite literally dumped some directly on top of a chicken before roasting it. No, I did not mix it up with seven different herbs and spices (unless you count salt and pepper which were also unceremoniously ground right on top of the chicken before the jam went on); and no, I did not brush it on lightly with a basting brush; and no, I most certainly did not drag it out every 20 minutes to reglaze it. I literally dumped some on the chicken and cooked it. And people will think you're an amazing cook (but you probably are already) because glazed and roasted chicken is about the best thing ever. Plus you end up with a lot of little puddles of roasted caramelized jam for dipping.

I guess jam really can go above and beyond just bread.

This particular flavour was the brain child of my one lonely tub of rhubarb leftover from last year's harvest which I thought I should get rid of before I filled the freezer with another crop. I guess I could have made a crisp like I usually do, but making another crisp (while delicious) just felt overdone. I wanted to do something different with my rhubarb this time, and jam is something I've never thought to use rhubarb for before (weird, right?).

 Making more ginger rhubarb jam will definitely be on my list once I get my hands on more fresh rhubarb for two reasons:

1. it's delicious. not too sweet not too tart with a slight zing from the ginger; and

2. I bought a crap load of ginger (cuz it was on sale! Clearance ginger!) and then proceeded to turn half of it into ginger syrup for my genius idea of making my own ginger ale (which wasn't genius after all). So I was left with a lot of little bits of finely chopped, sugared ginger which I thought to keep cuz hey, why waste it, right? It was perfectly good despite me not having anything to really do with it.

Until this jam came into my life.

from here

4 cups rhubarb
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger (mine came from this recipe, but I'm sure you can buy it somewhere and/or make it yourself)
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine everything in a large pot. Stir then let stand until the sugar is moistened, about 20 minutes.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium high, and stir continuously until the mixture is thick and no longer cloudy. This could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Just be patient.

If there's any foam, skim it off (mine had none). Pour into jars and allow to cool on the counter before storing them in the fridge. I did not can mine in the traditional sense because this recipe doesn't make a huge batch (it makes the perfect amount to have one large jar for yourself and two smaller jars to give away, if you like). If you're so inclined, sterilize, jar, and seal accordingly.

{fun fact} Laughing Cow cheese is known in Greece by the french, La Vache Qui Rit. While I think we mostly recognize it here as Laughing Cow. Which is odd to me since we're the english/french bilingual country.


Laeli said...

I'm playing with rhubarb today too!
I must make that jam, I must,I must! You had me drooling with..well,everything. I stopped making bread. I too could and did eat entire loaves to myself. I can't imagine the carnage with homemade jam around...yikes..but YUM!

GALaxy said...

That's my favourite thing in the world. Toast with butter. You can make all the fancy desserts you want, but in the end, I would be really happy with just a piece of toast. I hope you make any kind of jam with your rhubarb! That's really its most delicious form (I've decided).

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Ginger and rhubarb really is the perfect combination isn't it? I love your spoons! My favourite is the really love round one.

Deborah said...

How have I been missing all these great posts? I guess when I see updates on facebook, I think I've seen the post!?! Clearly not! I love love love these spoons. I have a collection somewhere and can't find them - these are really nice

erika edith said...

Great idea! I never know what to do with all the rhubarb. I can't wait to try this out.

GALaxy said...

TCFO: That's hilarious! I actually kind of do something similar in real life. I think I have to tell Idle Husband something and then I never do because I thought it so I feel like I've already told him. If I could use that long handled roundish spoon every day, I totally would.

Erika: That was totally my problem, too. Always rhubarb crisp. It just got really dull after a while. I found a cookie recipe I might try out soon, too!