I went to a large reunion at a Galien farm where the Norris family has been gathering for more than 50 years.
There were about 60 people there, which meant a lot of great dishes being served, as many people bought a dish to pass.
Unfortunately, none of the food included the names of who brought them, so I had to go around and ask questions like, “Do you know who made the angel hair salad dish?” and “Who brought the rhubarb strawberry upside down cake.” But I did, and was lucky to get the answers.
Sheila Chandler shared this recipe from “Michael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners.”
Angel Hair with Corn, Tomato and Feta Salad
1 pound angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from the cobs (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons oregano leaves
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a very large pot, bring 5 quarts water and 3 tablespoons salt to a boil.
Add the pasta, and cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the package directions. Occasionally give the pasta a stir so it doesn’t stick together. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
Meanwhile, put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and corn, spreading the kernels out into an even later on the bottom of the pan. Let the kernels cook, without stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the garlic, oregano and a good pinch of salt. Cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Stir in the red pepper flakes, add the reserved pasta water, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan, stirring the noodles into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and feta. Serve immediately.
Tami Roberts’ Rhubarb-Strawberry Cake
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 box French vanilla cake mix
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch pan.
Remove from oven, sprinkle brown sugar over butter, layer strawberries then rhubarb over brown sugar, and press in.
Mix cake according to box directions; pour over fruit in pan.
Bake for 35-50 minutes until done. Cool for a bit before inverting onto serving platter.
At the St. Joseph Farmers Market on Saturday, I was lucky enough to get the last couple of slices of Mari Krebs’ Alsatian Rhubarb Meringue Tarte and her Rhubarb Flan Tart at the Suisse Chalet booth.
The reason? Her husband, Berndt, told me many people aren’t familiar with rhubarb and so don’t snap it up the way they do her other pastries.
I guess that’s a win for me but a shame for all those missing out. I don’t have Mari’s recipe, but thought I’d give this one a try while there’s still fresh rhubarb available.
Alsatian Rhubarb Meringue Tart
For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ice water
For the filling:
2 pounds rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
For the pastry: In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter, and pulse just until it is the size of peas.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the ice water. Drizzle the egg mixture over the dough and pulse just until evenly moistened; do not let it form a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
For the filling: In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with 1/2 cup of the sugar; transfer to a strainer. Set the strainer over the bowl, and refrigerate overnight to drain.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-inch round. Fit the pastry into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and trim the overhanging pastry.
Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake the tart shell in the lower third of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake the shell for about 10 minutes, or until cooked and the bottom is lightly golden.
Press on the rhubarb to extract as much liquid as possible. In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Spread the rhubarb in the shell, and bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just tender.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Pour the custard over the rhubarb and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until set.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, and position a rack in the upper third of the oven. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until firm peaks form.
Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beating until the whites are stiff and glossy.
Spread the meringue over the tart all the way to the side.
Bake in the upper third of the oven for 5 minutes, or just until the meringue is lightly browned.
Let the tart cool, then remove the ring, slide the tart onto a cake plate and serve.
Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by writing to Focus, The Herald-Palladium, P.O. Box 128, St. Joseph, MI 49085.