As a girl who grew up in the era of Warheads and watermelon Sour Patch Kids, when I saw the pound and a half to 1/4 cup rhubarb:sugar ratio in this recipe...I thought PSSHHHH, b**** please. I got this.
The pain fibers in my sour tastebuds have long ago been abolished by 10-year-old blueberry warhead eating contests, in which we all gathered around and stuffed as many of those little candies into our mouths as we could take while spectators whispered about how some kid had actually been rumored to burn a hole through their tongue performing such a feat and wondered just how many that had required. And those of us with the mouth-puckering nuggets in our mouths...well. We tried not to frantically figure out just how many we had stuffed into our oral cavity and whether it was anywhere close to that number.
Fast forward to 15 years later.
And where once major extreme sour flavor made my heart race with enough fervor to rival that of a post run adrenaline rush...now it just makes my toes curl (in a bad way) and kind of makes me want to vomit.
Not really what you want to hear on a food blog, but hey. It can't all be "delicious" and "MAJOR" and "OMG you need this in your life. NOW." Sometimes we need to keep it real. Eat some less than stellar food and then write about how it may or may not have caused bodily fluids to evacuate my body via my mouth so that when I do say something tastes like crack you'll know I'm not just hyperbolizing for your benefit - I mean it.
Really. I'm doing this for you.
Moral of the story. You can't win 'em all. (Unless you're the Mets right now...in which case. YEEAAHHH you can.)
But I've had enough wins outside the kitchen lately (good dates with one particularly awesome boy) that one less-than-stellar meal doesn't even feel like a loss. It's more of an "eh, it happened" kind of situation.
I can deal.
And that being said, I do kinda believe this dish has potential. And it all comes back to Warheads.
You see, the beauty in those candies of yore was that once you fought through the most sour minute of your life, there was a sweet victory to follow. Literally.
And that's what this rhubarb sauce is missing. The happy ending.
I mixed some brown sugar into the leftovers and they were infinitely more palatable than the first go-around. I think they would be even better if the sugar were added within the last few minutes of cooking, so that's what I've written into the recipe. For the original recipe, check out Camilla's blog and to see other takes on what was originally a recipe for Fish Nuggets Braised in Rhubarb Sauce, check out the Food Matters Project site.
The winner of the Del Monte giveaway is comment 51 - Lea Ann of Highlands Ranch Foodie! I'll be contacting you!
Tofu Braised in Rhubarb Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 lb rhubarb, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- juice of two limes
- 1 14 oz block tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
- 1 lb broccoli, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
- cilantro and scallions, for garnish
- In a large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and turns a golden brown color, shaking the pan occasionally, 5-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in 1/4 cup water. Turn the heat back to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the water dissolves in the caramel.
- Add the rhubarb, onion, and jalapeno to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles but doesn't boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to melt into the sauce, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the black pepper and lime juice. Add in tofu and broccoli. Cover and cook for five minutes or until broccoli is fork-tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding brown sugar as necessary. Serve over rice, garnished with scallions and cilantro.