Tag Archives: Rhubarb Slush

Food Day Canada 2015: A Tribute to PEI’s Great Foods

The Bistro's Food Day Canada 2015 Menu
The Bistro’s Food Day Canada 2015 Menu

With its beginnings in 2003, Food Day Canada has grown and evolved.  Today, it is a country-wide initiative designed to showcase how a delectable entire meal can be made using Canadian-produced food.  It’s a tangible and visible way to celebrate the wonderful variety of foods produced in Canada and recognize our farmers, fishers, other food producers, chefs and, indeed, those of us who are home cooks bringing locally-produced food to our tables on a regular basis.  I like to use fresh locally-produced food products which have not traveled days to reach us and, at the same time, it gives me the opportunity to put dollars into the hands of local food producers to keep the local food movement alive and sustainable.

Preparing a meal using Canadian food items is no great challenge for me since I use local food products every day of the year.  In summer, our garden is the source of much of the food we eat.  Off season, I patronize my local farmers market in Charlottetown.  We have a number of farmers who grow produce year-round in their greenhouses so it’s great to have that ready source of local, fresh produce.  If you follow my blog regularly, you will have read stories I have written on several PEI food producers.

Living in PEI, I have lots of choices of foods that are representative of the Island.  For my 2015 Food Day Canada menu, I have chosen items from both land and sea and, as a tribute to our Island potato industry, am featuring potato salad, an all-time favorite summertime dish on PEI.  Potato salad is often found at backyard barbeques, picnics, and other summer get-togethers across the Island. You can get my recipe here.

My Island Bistro Kitchen's PEI Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Potato Salad

So, today, I am happy to share with you the menu I have prepared and photographs of the PEI foods that are on my table for Food Day Canada 2015 along with the sources of the products. This is my version of a typical down home PEI lobster supper.

Food Day Canada Menu 2015
Starter
PEI Mussels steamed in apple juice, garlic, and a medley of fresh herbs
and dipped in melted butter
Fresh Homemade Rolls

Main
PEI Lobster in the Shell
PEI Potato Salad
Green Garden Salad with Cranberry-Pear Vinaigrette

Dessert
Glazed Strawberry Pie with Whipped Cream

Wine Pairing
Little Sands White Wine, Rossignol Estate Winery, Little Sands, PEI

Pre-dinner Beverage:
Product and Source: Rhubarb Slush made with rhubarb from our garden

Rhubarb Slush is my latest drink creation and it is my signature drink for summer 2015.  It’s very tasty and refreshing on a hot summer day.  We have a large rhubarb patch and it’s another way to use the rhubarb.

Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush

Starter
Products & Sources:
Mussels – Prince Edward Aqua Farms Inc., Springbrook, PEI
Butter – Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL), Summerside, PEI

Mussels are one of the main products harvested from PEI waters.  While they are used in different ways such as in chowders and even salads, they are most often steamed and eaten right out of the shell, dipped in good PEI hot melted butter.

PEI Mussels
PEI Mussels

Today, I simply steamed the mussels in a small amount of apple juice, some garlic, and a small handful of mixed herbs from my herb garden.  The key to good steamed mussels is to use as little liquid as possible to steam them as too much liquid dilutes their flavor.

PEI Mussels
PEI Mussels

I made a fresh batch of rolls this morning and, with a good slather or ADL butter, they make a lovely accompaniment to the mussels.

Main
Products & Sources:
Lobster – Fished off of Tignish, PEI, and sourced through MR Seafood in Charlottetown, PEI

Butter – Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL), Summerside, PEI
Potatoes – Jewell Produce, York, PEI
Lettuce – From my own garden
Tomatoes – Vankampen Greenhouse, Charlottetown, PEI
English Cucumber – Schurman Family Farm, Spring Valley, PEI (these are the absolute best flavored cucumbers I have ever tasted!)

We are truly blessed on PEI to have fine quality lobster.  The lobsters on my table today were fished off the shores of Tignish in the western part of the province.  One of my favorite places to buy fresh seafood is at MR Seafood on Thompson Drive in Charlottetown and that’s where these were purchased. Lobster may be eaten hot or cold. My preference is to eat the lobster meat cold but dipped in melted butter.

PEI Lobster
PEI Lobster

The potatoes that I used to make the potato salad came from Jewell’s Produce in York, PEI, just outside Charlottetown.

My Island Bistro Kitchen's Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Potato Salad

Our lettuce has been very slow to grow this year but I was able to get enough from the garden to make a green salad for our dinner.


Dessert
Product and Source: Strawberries from the Schofield Farm in Lady Fane, PEI

Strawberries are nearing the end of their season here on PEI but, as a finale to the strawberry season, I am including my glazed strawberry pie for dessert.

Glazed Strawberry Pie
Glazed Strawberry Pie

Wine Pairing
My wine of choice for today is Little Sands White Wine that comes from Rossignol Estate Winery in Little Sands in the Eastern part of PEI. Rossignol is PEI’s oldest winery.  Click here to read the story I previously wrote about my visit to this winery.

So, this is how I am celebrating Food Day Canada 2015.  What Canadian-produced foods are on your table today?

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Rhubarb Slush

Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush

I love to develop summertime drinks! This recipe uses rhubarb as the base for this tasty slush drink. The addition of a mix of freshly squeezed citrus juices, sweet pineapple juice, and frozen lemonade concentrate make this a flavorful beverage. This is an alcoholic beverage as it uses gin. There is no fixed ratio of slush to soda but I generally fill a tall glass about a third to half full of the slush and top it up with a clear soda such as lemon-lime. Serve with a lemon wheel or wedge and it’s a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush

I do have some tips to share for making this slush:

• Use the the brightest red rhubarb stalks you can find as this will give the slush color.
• Use freshly-squeezed citrus fruit juices, not bottled (fresh is always best!).
• Strain the citrus juices twice to remove all traces of seeds and fruit pulp.
• Chill the rhubarb and citrus juices, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and gin. The colder the ingredients are to start with, the quicker and better the freezing process for the slush.
• Plan ahead to make this slush as it will take at least 2-3 days for it to reach the optimal “slush” stage.
• Stir the slush 2-3 times during the freezing process to ensure ingredients remain mixed during the freezing stage. It will not freeze rock hard solid as it’s not meant to.
• For best results, store the slush in a tightly sealed container deep in a deep freeze (as opposed to a refrigerator’s freezer compartment). Otherwise, the slush may remain in a fairly liquid form and not freeze, and stay frozen, at the slush stage.
• Once mixed with the cold soda, serve immediately as the slush melts quickly.

This is a pale, pastel drink that is packed full of flavour. Sometimes, I add some lemon balm leaves and edible pansies to add color and interest to the drink. I think this would make a lovely bridal shower signature drink.

Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush

Ingredients:

1½ cups water
1½ cups sugar

3 cups rhubarb, chopped into ½” chunks (enough to yield 1 cup rhubarb juice)
⅔ cup water

Juice of ½ pink grapefruit
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1¼ cups pineapple juice, chilled
½ can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed

1 – 375 ml bottle gin (I used Beefeater London Dry Gin), chilled

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Ingredients for Rhubarb Slush
Ingredients for Rhubarb Slush

In medium-sized saucepan, combine the 1½ cups water and 1½ cup sugar to make a traditional simple syrup. Over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and boil gently for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.

Making the Simple Syrup
Making the Simple Syrup

In medium-sized saucepan combine the rhubarb and 2/3 cup water.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium low and cook gently for about 10 minutes until rhubarb is broken down into a soft sauce-like consistency.

Pour rhubarb and its liquid into a fine sieve/strainer placed over a bowl or large measuring cup.

Let juice drip from rhubarb, periodically pressing the rhubarb pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much juice as possible. This should yield 1 cup of rhubarb juice. Chill. Discard rhubarb pulp.

Prepare the citrus juices and strain twice to remove any seeds and pulp. Chill.

Squeezing Citrus Juices
Squeezing Citrus Juices
Straining the Citrus Juices
Straining the Citrus Juices

Into a freezable container that can hold at least 7 cups of liquid, pour the cooled simple syrup of sugar and water.

Add the chilled rhubarb, citrus, and pineapple juices along with the semi-thawed lemonade concentrate and the gin. Stir well.

Place airtight cover on container. Freeze in the coldest part of the deep freeze, stirring 2-3 times during the freezing process. Be patient as this will take 2-3 days for it to reach the desired slush consistency.

Slush Starting to Freeze
Slush Starting to Freeze
Slush Freezing
Slush Freezing

To serve, fill a tall glass about a third to one-half full of slush and top up with a clear soda, such as lemon-lime.

DSC_0297-001

Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge and serve immediately. Decorate with a sprig of lemon balm and/or an edible pansy, if desired.

Yield: Apx. 7+ cups

Note: There may be some slight variations in colors between different photos in this posting due to different lighting used.

Rhubarb Slush

Yield: Apx. 7+ cups

A pastel-colored refreshing drink using rhubarb

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped into ½” chunks (enough to yield 1 cup rhubarb juice)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Juice of ½ pink grapefruit
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of l lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1¼ cups pineapple juice, chilled
  • ½ can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed
  • 1 – 375 ml bottle gin (I used Beefeater London Dry Gin), chilled

Instructions

  1. Assemble ingredients.
  2. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the 1½ cups water and 1½ cup sugar to make a traditional simple syrup. Over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and boil gently for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.
  3. In medium-sized saucepan combine the rhubarb and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium low and cook gently for about 10 minutes until rhubarb is broken down into a soft sauce-like consistency.
  4. Pour rhubarb and its liquid into a fine sieve/strainer placed over a bowl or large measuring cup. Let juice drip from rhubarb, periodically pressing the rhubarb pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much juice as possible. This should yield 1 cup of rhubarb juice. Chill. Discard rhubarb pulp.
  5. Prepare the citrus juices and strain twice to remove any seeds and pulp. Chill.
  6. Into a freezable container that can hold at least 7 cups of liquid, pour the simple syrup of sugar and water. Add the chilled rhubarb, citrus, and pineapple juices along with the semi-thawed lemonade concentrate and the gin. Stir well.
  7. Place airtight cover on container. Freeze in the coldest part of the deep freeze, stirring 2-3 times during the freezing process. Be patient as this will take 2-3 days for it to reach the desired slush consistency.
  8. To serve, fill a tall glass about one-third to one-half full of slush and top up with a clear soda, such as lemon-lime. Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge and serve immediately.
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Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting and recipe, please share it on your social media websites.

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Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush