Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Tutor: Featuring MJ's Kitchen

Rhubarb Sorbet Scooped
Rhubarb Mint Sorbet


Every Tuesday I choose a different friend to be my tutor for a day: I select one of their original recipes, I make the recipe following my friend's instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I scarf down as much as my belt-line will permit - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Read more about the details for Tuesday Tutor

Today's Tuesday Tutor: MJ's Kitchen
Selected Recipe: Rhubarb Mint Sorbet
My tutor today is MJ from MJ's Kitchen, a blog filled with fast and tasty recipes that are intended for cooks of any level of experience. MJ shares recipes and tips from her years of experience cooking in her kitchen and her from-scratch food is frequently shared with the Made with Love Mondays series. Which means I'm always discovering delicious inspiration for new flavor pairings.

When MJ shared this Rhubarb Mint Sorbet with the Made with Love Mondays series a few weeks back, I knew I had to attempt it myself. I had never made sorbet before, but armed with my trusty ice cream maker and MJ's reliable recipe, this sorbet was foolproof. As in, even sorbet novice like me could manage to make perfect sorbet on the first try. You've got to try this sorbet - even if you're not a fan of mint or rhubarb!

About the Author: Fun Facts
  1. "When I started blogging and publishing my recipes, I had to dust off my measuring tools and force myself to measure ingredients. I still fight it, but I'm getting better."
     
  2. "Maybe the fact that I don't like to measure is why I never became a baker."
     
  3. "I was never interested in photography until I started blogging. Food photography caught my interest and after the first few pictures I realized I had A LOT to learn, but that's o.k. because it's been fun!"
     
  4. "You know how they say you can take the girl out of the south (USA), but you can't take the south out of the girl? I'm definitely proof of that."
     
  5. "When I was 14 I had my first car date. I married the guy 5.5 years later and we're still going strong."
Author's Photo

Original recipe courtesy of MJ's Kitchen

Filtered Water
There's only a handful of ingredients for this recipe and it's so easy to make. The hardest part is
waiting. And there's lots and lots of waiting. The good news is, it's easy and you can be working
on other things around the house while most of the waiting happens. This sorbet starts with
water (rather than milk or cream which is the base for ice cream). I decided to increase MJ's
recipe yield by 1/2, so rather than using 1 cup of water, I used 1 1/2 cups. 

Adding Water to Pot
Add the water to a medium sized pot.

Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used the juice form 1 whole lemon since I was increasing
the yield of MJ's recipe.)

Rhubarb Added to Pot
Next add finely chopped rhubarb. I used defrosted rhubarb from my freezer. I picked up the
rhubarb in bulk a while back and frozen off in batches for just such an occasion. If you're using
fresh rhubarb, you may need to peel off some of the tougher outer strings

Granulated Sugar
Add your sugar. I prefer my sorbet more tart than sweet, so I used 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Next time
I might try reducing the sugar to just 1 cup

Two Packs of Fresh Mint
Next comes the mint. I used two packages of mint. 

Mint Added to Rhubarb
Just add the mint to the rhubarb. No need to pull the leaves off the stems or chop it up.

Mix Ingredients in Pot
Give everything a stir to help the sugar dissolve and to distribute the mint.

Cover Pot and Bring to Boil
Cover the rhubarb and bring to the boil over medium-high heat

Rhubarb Mixture Boiling
Once the mixture reaches the boiling point, uncover and reduce the heat to medium-low

Rhubarb Simmering
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes

Removing Mint from Rhubarb Sauce
After ten minutes, the rhubarb will be somewhat broken down into more of a stringy sauce.
Next, remove the mint with a pair of tongs. Most of the flavor has already been cooked out
of the mint and if you left the mint in the sauce, the final sorbet would take on a dull, less
appetizing color

Immersion Blender Wand
If you have an immersion blender hand wand, now would be the time to use it. If you don't
own an immersion blender, you can certainly use a heat-safe blender

Blending Rhubarb Sauce w/ Immersion Blender
Puree the rhubarb sauce. The immersion blender is the easiest and least messy method.

Pureed Rhubarb Sauce
Puree until smooth

Smooth Pureed Rhubarb Sauce
Here's how the final sauce should appear - somewhat thick and perfectly smooth.
And so delicious. Just try not to slurp too many test spoonfuls because it's even better when
frozen as sorbet!

CorningWare A-10-B Pan
To cool the sorbet sauce quickly, you will need a large heat-safe shallow pan or dish. I used
my Corning Ware A-10-B pan

Pouring Rhubarb Puree into Pan to Cool
Pour the sorbet sauce into the pan

Cooling Rhubarb Sauce
Allow to cool at room temperature for approximately 30-45 minutes until close to room
temperature. Then cover and chill for at least 3 hours. The colder you get this base, the faster
it will thicken when added to the ice cream maker.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
Once your sorbet base is nice and cold, you're ready to freeze churn the sorbet. I used by
ice cream maker - which I love tremendously and highly recommend to everyone.

Ice Cream Maker Fitted with Paddle
Make sure your freezer element has spent the last few days in your freezer so it's nice and cold.

Chilled Rhubarb Sauce Added to Ice Cream Maker
Pour in the chilled sorbet base...

Rhubarb Sorbet Freezing in Ice Cream Maker
...and let the sorbet churn until it reaches a thickened consistency (about 20-25 minutes)

Adding Raspberry Vodka to Sorbet
Now add vodka. Vodka doesn't really change the flavor (unless you're using a flavored vodka
like I chose to), but it helps to prevent the sorbet from freezing rock-solid later. And it helps
to encourage a creamier consistency. So I recommend adding the vodka. But you can skip it
if you're sharing the sorbet with minors, etc.

Rhubarb Sorbet Churning
Once you've added the vodka, let the sorbet churn for another 5 minutes. It should be perfectly
thickened and starting to climb the sides of the freezing canister and the churn paddle

Sorbet Ready to be Frozen
Shut off the ice cream maker and remove the churn paddle. Give everything a hearty stir with
a spatula to ensure the sorbet is consistently mixed.

Sorbet Transferred to Freezer Containers
Quickly transfer to sealable freezer containers (I used old cottage cheese containers), seal,
and place in freezer for at least 2 hours to allow sorbet to firm-up. 

Rhubarb Sorbet Overhead
Serve.
This was a wonderful finish to a simple summer lunch. It was also the best part =)

Rhubarb Sorbet with Chicken Sandwich
The tartness from the rhubarb, the freshness of the mint, and the icy-cold creaminess makes
this the perfect summer treat on a hot day. And because there's no cream or milk, it's actually
not ridiculously bad for you. So enjoy - and remember to thank MJ for this recipe!


Thoughts while scarfing...
  • This sorbet is awesome - and not just because I love rhubarb. The truth is, the sorbet doesn't really taste anything like rhubarb or mint. It's something all it's own, a wonderful meld of two distinct flavors that together give birth to an unexpected flavor that's absolutely delicious. TRY THIS RECIPE!
     
  • It really, really helps if you have an ice cream maker. In fact, ice cream makers are not terribly expensive and so simple to use, I'd recommend making room in your kitchen for one of these appliances. The ice cream maker really helps to prevent serious crystallization during the freezing process, resulting in a smoother and more creamy texture.
     
  • Once you try this recipe, you'll want to make it again and again. So I recommend buying plenty of rhubarb stalks when you can find it in stores and then chopping and freezing as I do. That way, even when rhubarb is not in season, you can still enjoy this cold treat.
     
  • I often discover little tweaks I decide to make to future attempts of a new recipe. In the case of MJ's recipe, I wouldn't change a thing. Seriously, this sorbet was perfect. If I were pressed (as in bound, gagged and tortured), I might someday try reducing the sugar slightly to allow for more tartness from the rhubarb. And I would definitely recommend making extra as I did. But really, just follow MJ's recipe and you'll be happy. 

Other Must-Try Recipes from MJ's Kitchen
Maybe sorbet isn't your thing. But I guarantee you'll find something delicious from MJ's Kitchen. Check out these delicious posts and tell me you're not inspired!

Quick and Easy Strawberry Jam
NM Red Chile Enchiladas
Green Chile Succotash
Preserved Lemon Rice
Cranberry Bread - Tried and True


13 comments:

  1. MJ is awesome and I loved learning a little more about her. :) This sorbet looks outstanding. I do have an ice cream maker and used it a few times last year... I'm still getting the hang of it because it has not worked out right for me yet. It's completely user error. :) Thanks for doing this great recipe for use... really enjoyed it. ~ Ramona

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  2. WOW! Look how beautiful you made this sorbet look!!! I love your pictures, your process, the presentation, the whole post! I'm also very glad that you enjoyed the sorbet as much as you did! You are so right that it's neither rhubarb or mint, but a whole different flavor! My husband who hates rhubarb, loves this sorbet! Thanks again for featuring my sorbet in such a beautiful fashion! You're the greatest!

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  3. This is a fabulous post. I love MJ and I have made a few things form her web site. Many time I have made her preserved lemons, they are the best. Your sorbet looks awesome as well as all your photos.

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  4. I've never come across MJ before but I'm off to check out her site now! That cranberry bread looks fantastic! :D

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  5. Have been connected on line with MJ and she never fails to amuse me with her recipes every time I visit her blog..Love you MJ.

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  6. Thanks for sharing, I hadn't visited her site before. It's lovely! Like her cucumber drink too :)

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  7. I'm visiting from MJs Kitchen - I love the play by play breakdown of this recipe. So well illustrated and helpful. MJs sorbet is simply gorgeous and the definition of summer refreshing. I can taste it from here!

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  8. I like Mjs's cooking. she makes everything perfect. Thanks for featuring a wonderful blogger and get to know more. This Ruberab mint sorbet looks delicious, lovely color.

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  9. What a gorgeous recipe! And I so enjoyed learning more about MJ, one of my favorite bloggers :-)

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  10. I love MJ's Kitchen, and am very happy to discover your blog. You did an awesome job with this. I've been seeing so many ice cream and sorbet recipes, but haven't made any yet this summer - you may have pushed me over the edge! Thanks for a great post - I'll be back.

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  11. This is really fantastic. I have such a weakness for frozen treats.

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  12. Hi JW and MJ (both have J in your name!)! I love MJ's feature. MJ, I was like you. I've never measured before but now I'm so used to it. Even though I don't cook for the post, I always measure the ingredients. I test my own recipes many times as well as new recipes too. What happened to me? :-)
    JW, you did such a great job making the sorbet! I never expected it takes a long time to make, but your step by step is so great and helpful. I had fun cooking with you!

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  13. Hi JW, I love your feature from MJ...such a delightful sorbet! And I as well would trust anything she put forth...love her!

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