Land of Leftovers

My garden has been producing rhubarb non-stop since early May. All at once, I'm both thrilled and overwhelmed! In the middle of July, I was still cutting it up and popping it into the freezer for future use. Thank goodness it freezes well. However, I've also managed to keep my supply of Orange-Rhubarb Chutney from being depleted -- and that's no small task in my house.

You might ask why would a condiment like chutney be in constant demand. It's really quite simple -- in my house, Orange-Rhubarb Chutney is much more than a condiment. This sweet tangy chutney has been known to masquerade as a delightful topping for vanilla ice cream, a quick substitute for jelly in good ol' PBJs (that's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!) and a unique filling for a white layer cake. If you add about a half a teaspoon of your favorite pepper blend and four tablespoons of olive oil to a half a cup of it, it makes a terrific marinade for boneless chicken or turkey. They're great on the grill!

As you might notice from my short list of ideas for Orange-Rhubarb Chutney, it really is meant to be much more than a condiment. However, it certainly serves that purpose equally well. My favorite dish to pair with it is grilled pork chops, but it's terrific with just about anything grilled -- even Portabella mushrooms!

I'm making this article focus on Orange-Rhubarb Chutney; however, all chutneys fall into a special category in the land of leftovers. They are so versatile that to make a small amount for just one dish seems a waste. Whenever you decide to make one, try to at least double the recipe. You'll be glad that you did. Chutneys can find their way into everything from omelets to dessert and fit right in!

Included in this article are recipes for the chutney, a great grilled dinner and a fruity breakfast. However, feel free to use some of the other ideas mentioned here. But, to start you off here are a few inspirations:

If you have or find a new way to use chutney, feel free to share it with us! You can use the discussion board form below or send me email. Happy eating!

Orange-Rhubarb Chutney

  • 3 c. rhubarb, diced
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 12 oz. orange marmalade

Combine rhubarb and sugar in a large bowl; toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes or until natural juices form.

Transfer the rhubarb to a medium saucepan and heat at medium heat; stirring often. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture bubbles and softens.

Remove from heat and immediately add orange marmalade. Stir until thoroughly combined. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

  • Yields: about 4 cups
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Fruity Grilled Pork Chops

  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 4 boneless pork chops, 1 1/2" thick
  • 1 c. orange-rhubarb chutney

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce, honey, lime juice and ginger. Add the pork chops and turn to coat. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Remove chops, reserving marinade.

Grill or broil chops 15 to 18 minutes or until pork is juice and barely pink in the center, turning once and basting with reserved marinade.

Serve hot with 1/4 c. orange-rhubarb chutney slathered on each chop.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time

Stuffed French Toast

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 slices homemade bread, 1" thick
  • cooking spray
  • 2 T. low fat cream cheese
  • 4 T. orange-rhubarb chutney
  • vanilla sugar (optional)

In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk and cinnamon. Coat each slice of bread in the egg mixture, making sure to thoroughly soak each slice.

Carefully transfer each slice to a hot griddle coated with cooking spray. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the egg cooks. Flip the slices and repeat on the other side. Remove the French toast to two serving plates.

Carefully spread 1 T. cream cheese over one slice of French toast. Top the cream cheese with 2 T. orange-rhubarb chutney. Lay the other piece of French toast over the filling and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Repeat with other serving plate and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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