Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Belly up to the tasty, saucy rhubarb bar

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AS mentioned in last week's column, which filled a request for a rhubarb cake, numerous readers sent in a recommended recipe for rhubarb bars that appears today. Thanks to Florence Rebenchuk, Judith Lavitt, Marjorie Fehr, Anna Kidd, Bernice Mikoluff, Lillian Klysh, Sigrun Bailey, Linda Baxter, Joyce Smith, Deanna Ruffeski, Mary Anne Gawazuk of Valley River, Sue Lyons of Lac du Bonnet and Rose-Marie Ariko of Flin Flon.

An earlier request by Sherron Litkowich of Oakbank for a pizza pop recipe is answered today. Each recipe that came in uses a different dough, so below you'll find three dough variations to choose from that are all good. The main recipe is courtesy of Wilma Dick of Glenlea. Ruth Lindsey-Armstrong and Darcy Hickson of Brandon supplied the other two dough recipes. Thanks also to Helen Pitura, Rose Chapman, Heather Maher of St. Andrews and Edna Mroz and Bonnie Stefaniuk, both of Beausejour, for sharing their recipes.

This week's requests are from readers who want to duplicate restaurant items. Sandra Linton would like a recipe for the spicy Thai chicken soup served at the Mandarin restaurants, and Helena Chepil is looking for a recipe that is like the pecan date bar found at some Starbucks.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax 697 7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number. (Please note that your submission may not appear right away, due to space limitations.)

Rhubarb bars

250 ml (1 cup) flour

5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

60 ml (1/4 cup) butter

1 egg

15 ml (1 tbsp) milk

500 ml (2 cups) chopped rhubarb

1 - 85g (3 oz) pkg strawberry Jell-O

60 ml (1/4 cup) butter

125 ml (1/2 cup) flour

250 ml (1 cup) sugar

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter. Mix in egg and milk. Pat into a greased 9-inch x 9-inch pan.

Cover with rhubarb and sprinkle Jell-O over it evenly.

Mix butter, flour and sugar together and crumble over top. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Cut into bars while warm and let cool in pan. Recipe can be doubled and baked in a 13-inch x 9-inch pan.

Taste Tester Notes: These are quick, easy and very good. Nice buttery crust with saucy rhubarb topping.

Wilma's pizza pops

Pastry:

1 litre (4 cups) flour

20 ml (4 tsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp salt)

30 ml (2 tbsp) sugar

180 ml (3/4 cup) shortening

60 ml (1/4 cup) margarine

2 eggs, slightly beaten

125 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients. Mix in shortening and margarine using pastry blender until you have pea-sized pieces. Mix eggs and buttermilk together and stir in to form pastry. Add additional buttermilk 15 ml (1 tbsp) at a time if needed.

Filling:

250 ml (1 cup) pepperoni, chopped

250 ml (1 cup) cooked bacon, chopped

250 ml (1 cup) mushrooms, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

250 ml (1 cup) pizza sauce

500 ml (2 cups) mozzarella cheese, grated

Mix filling ingredients. Roll out dough and cut into 6-inch circles. Put 30 ml (2 tbsp) filling on half of circle, fold over and press edges to seal. Bake on parchment paper on baking sheet at 375 F for 25 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Taste Tester Notes: This pastry makes the more traditional, firmer-style pizza pop-dough. The sugar could be omitted. Roll dough about 1/8-inch thick on lightly floured surface. Mixing the filling ingredients together is the fastest way to fill these, but you can make each one individually to suit different tastes by spreading sauce on the bottom and topping with desired filling. Leave a 1/2-inch border all around. You can be creative with the filling, as you would with pizza. Try including chopped and cooked broccoli or well-drained cooked spinach to boost nutritional value or for a meatless version. The above recipe made enough filling to use heaping spoonfuls for each pizza pop. (If you have any leftover filling, use it in scrambled eggs or an omelet.) This made 15 pizza pops that I baked on ungreased sheets without the parchment paper. Pizza pops freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave or oven. Readers also noted that they are a great alternative to sandwiches for kids' lunches and can be eaten cold.

Ruth's dough

930 ml ( 3 3/4 cups) flour

30 ml (2 tbsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

160 ml (2/3 cup) oil

330 ml (1 1/3 cups) warm milk

Mix all ingredients together, knead and put in a plastic bag for a few hours (it's easier to work with if it sits for a bit). Fill, wet border and seal. Poke each pop with a fork to release steam. Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes.

Taste Tester Notes: If you prefer a softer dough, try this one. It is easy, quick to make and very pliable to work with. I let it sit for about 2 hours, then divided it into 12 balls that I rolled into 6-inch circles. I also tried this using 500 ml (2 cups) whole wheat flour mixed with 430 ml (1 3/4 cups) white flour with good results. Ruth suggests using grated orange cheddar in the filling for the "pizza pop look." I baked these for 20 minutes on ungreased sheets.

Darcy's dough

500 ml (2 cups) flour

6 ml (1 1/4 tsp) instant yeast

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

160 ml (2/3 cup) warm water

30 ml (2 tbsp) oil

Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. Add water and oil, mixing well until dough leaves sides of bowl. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Cover with tea towel and allow to sit in warm spot until doubled in size.

Divide dough into equal balls (size of choice) and roll 1/8-inch thick. Fill, dampen edge of half circle and seal, crimping edges with fork. Place on greased baking sheet. Poke holes in top. Bake on bottom rack at 425 F for about 15 minutes.

Taste Tester Notes: Try this dough if you prefer the taste of a yeast risen, pizza-like soft crust. The dough was a bit sticky for me, so I kneaded in additional flour until it formed a smooth ball. I let it rise for about an hour. I also tried this using half whole wheat flour with good results.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2007

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