If there is one fruit I understand..... it is the silky red pomegranate. Apples are passe, kiwis share their name with a bird, dragon fruits are cool looking (but yet not so great in the taste department). However no other fruit is so damn sexy as the round, red, pendulous, juicy and fecund pomegranate.
If you have been keeping up with my blog in any way over the past two weeks, you will know that all of my past recipe posts have featured pomegranates in one way or another. This post is the culmination of all of those posts put together. POM Wonderful selected myself along with 99 other foodies to compete in a "Pomegranate Dinner Party". My job was to create an amazing evening filled with pomegranate everything, food, drinks, decor, even "how to" pomegranate opening lessons. You name it... it was to be pomegranate themed.
I call the pomegranate my long lost love. Sometimes you have been kept from something so long, when it finally shows up in your life, it takes you over, from head to toe. Those dear pomegranates... all 44 that arrived on my doorstep, took over my house for an entire two weeks and have had me seeing red and singing the praises of this magical fruit. Morning, noon and night... they have been on my mind... they are around my house, everywhere I look. Red, magical orbs....cradling hundreds of rubies.... each tiny seed, filled with a gorgeous red juice that makes your lips smack and ask for more.
|Fresh Pomegranates and Eucalyptus Branches|
I invited several friends over for an "ode to the pomegranate party". It was an evening filled with food and drink, all dusted with the magical taste of the pomegranate. The house was filled with pomegranate art and decor. We were truly seeing pomegranates and that was not just the cocktails talking! Thank you Pom Wonderful for selecting me to host a POM Wonderful Party. The dinner was such a creative and artistic experience for me. I was able to let my inner spirit shine! From 6 p.m. until midnight.... we partied with pomegranates.
|Toasting the evening and loving my dear friends!|
|Iced POM Hearts|
Themed parties keep one focused, and if anybody knows me, they know I am quite easily distracted. Having my dinner focused around pomegranates kept me in line and on task. It became quite easy and fun to come up with a decadent dinner menu for eight. Preparing for the party was not so easy. It was quite time consuming and a lot of work. But heck, nothing like a bit of pre-party child labor to move things right along and lessen mother's stress. My darling kiddos....willingly...(ahem... I suppose there was a bit of arm twisting involved) de-seeded 8 pomegranates for me. Once they got into it... there was no stopping them, each one was fighting for the next pomegranate segment. I was going to need each and every one of those seeds for my evening feast.
Old School Thinking = Pomegranates are messy and will stain up your whole kitchen in a heart beat. You can not ask your kids to help you as your mess would be so great, you would be wiping red pomegranate juice off your walls and cupboards for weeks.
New School Thinking = Pomegranates are no longer messy! Even your kids can have fun and complete your kitchen work for you... with a smile on their face. Bye bye stained walls! So long red hands! Sianara mommy stress! Check out the video below for the latest, safest, and cleanest way to open a pomegranate.
Menu for Eight
November 12, 2010
Hosted by Miss Megan of Foodalution
Fresh French Tartar Sauce with Pomegranate Vinegar ~ served with celery, cucumber and blanched asparagus ~
|Pomegranate Place Cards|
Persephone's Tears ~ Sparkling Prosecco infused with pomegranate molasses and topped with frozen pomegranate seeds.
I ♥ POM Punch ~ 1, two litre bottle of sparkling lime water mixed with 2-16 oz. bottles of POM Juice, ½ container pink lemonade concentrate and topped with "POM HEARTS” - frozen pink pomegranate hearts. Serve in punch bowl.
|Pomegranate Ice Hearts for the punch|
Pomegranate Butter – served atop crusty fresh baguette ~
1/2 lb. softened Pasture Land/ Organic Valley or other high quality organic butter
3 TBS Pomegranate Molasses
Mix butter with molasses until well combined. Adjust the molasses addition to your liking. Refrigerate. Take out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy on fresh crusty bread, drizzle over warm fruit, saute your greens in this... get creative!
POM Cheese Dream – Addictive cheese spread ~
In a glass bowl, layer Widemar's Brick Cheese Spread or other tangy cheese spread with fresh pomegranate seeds. Layer two to three times finishing with pomegranate seeds. Serve with fresh bread.... you can not stop eating this!
|POM Cheese Spread|
1.5 cups mayonnaise
2 TBS minced shallots
1 small sweet pickle minced
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1 TBS chopped chives
2 tsp. Pomegranate vinegar
Dash of Tabasco
Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight so flavor develops. Served with celery, cucumber and blanched asparagus.
Spinach Salad with Roasted Squash and Hot Bacon Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing ~
1 lb of washed spinach
1 lb of good bacon, fried, grease saved, and chopped into little bits1 small butter nut squash, diced and oven roasted
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 TBS dijon mustard
3 TBS pomegranate vinegar
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Dressing: Take about 1/3 -1/2 cup of saved bacon fat, melt in small sauce pan, add around 3 TBS- 5TBS of pomegranate vinegar, start slow, add more in the end. Add mustard, 2 tsp salt and let come to a simmer. Taste, add salt and sugar and more vinegar to your liking. I have so say, when I make my hot bacon dressings, I do not measure, I use the "taste and adjust" method. Whisk before serving. Toss salad with squash, bacon bits and warm dressing. Top with pomegranate seeds. You will have extra bacon bits. Save and use for a rainy day.
|Roasted squash, spinach salad with hot bacon pomegranate dressing|
Main Course.... let the feasting begin
Pomegranate Pork Tenderloin ~ adapted from Linda W. allrecipes.com
½ cup POM wonderful pomegranate juice
½ cup freshly squeeze orange juice
2 TBS whole grain mustard
2 TBS honey
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp orange zest
2 TBS kosher salt
2 thin slices of fresh Habanero pepper without seeds
Combine all ingredients in a zip lock bag, place tenderloin in marinade and let rest in the refrigerator for three hours. Oven at 350 degrees F. Place tenderloin in roasting pan. Reserve marinade. Cook tenderloin until internal temperature is 155 degrees F. Simmer reserved marinade and reduce. Take out meat, let rest for 10 minutes. Top meat with reserved marinade. Slice thinly.
Pan Fried Parsnip Puree with Salty Fried Shitakes ~
3 pounds (before peeling) fresh fall parsnips, peeled and chopped into 2” pieces
1 & ½ Sticks of Unsalted Organic Butter
½ cup half and half
6 cloves heirloom garlic
1 lb shitake mushrooms
pomegranate seeds for garnish
Boil parsnips as you would for mashed potatoes. Drain. Add ½ stick of butter and ½ and ½. Let cool for 15 minutes. Mix well. In two additions, add parsnips to food processor, mix until very creamy. Can be made ahead of time. When ready to fry, take out non-stick pan or cast iron, and add the other ½ stick of butter. Saute 4 cloves minced garlic until just fragrant and then add parsnips and more butter if needed, fold the parsnips in the pan until well heated. In separate pan, while parsnips are heating, melt ½ stick butter and add the mushrooms and 2 cloves of garlic, gently toss and fry. Sprinkle with salt and and taste. Cook until done. This will take about 10 minutes of medium heat. Serve parsnips with with mushrooms and pomegranate seeds
|Miss Megan.... preparing the parsnips..|
|gotta love garlic! I was getting nervous with all the burners going at once.... only one casualty... a wooden spoon that caught fire!|
Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate Vinegar and Roasted Pumpkin Seed Oil ~
3 bags of brussel sprouts, you will need this much because you will have waste sprouts.
½ stick of butter
2 cloves heirloom garlic
1 TBS cumin seeds
2 TBS Pomegranate vinegar
3 TBS Roasted Pumpkin Seed Oil
Clean sprouts, slice of bottom and then slice lengthwise in half. Steam the sprouts until they just begin to turn soft. You do not want to over steam as this will make them into mush for the pan frying portion of the recipe. Do not crowd the steamer, steam sprouts in two successive steamings. Drain sprouts. Let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. You can store them in a zip lock bag. In large saute pan, melt butter and begin to fry the garlic, when garlic just begins to release flavor, add in the cumin seeds. Let the cumin fry for 30 seconds. Add in the sprouts and pomegranate vinegar. Saute for 5 minutes of so, until heated through. Taste, add salt and sugar according to your tastes. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the sprouts. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds oil ,you will not be disappointed. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.
|Sprouts in action...|
Butterscotch Pomegranate Layer Cake ~ recipe can be found here on my blog.
The cake speaks for itself.
The cake speaks for itself.
Classic Flourless Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Molasses ~ Cake recipe from epicurious.com
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
8 oz. Semi sweet chocolate chips
1&1/4 cups sugar
1 cup sifted unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
6 large eggs
Oven to 350 F. Butter a spring from pan, 10” works perfectly. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat in a large heavy saucepan until melted. Mix cocoa and sugar in large bowl, add eggs whisk until blended Whisk in chocolate-butter mixture. Pout batter into pan, bake until tested comes out clean, around 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan, on rack. Run your knife around sides to loosen the cake. Release from pan. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with pomegranate molasses and fresh pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate Molasses recipe can be found here in one of my latest blog posts.
The fantastic evening concluded with dessert, tea and a demonstration with a "free trial" of "How to Open A Pomegranate". I demonstrated to the guests, as you saw in the kids video above the ins and outs of pomegranate opening and de-seeding without a mess. All the guests were also given a "party bag" courteous of POM Wonderful in California. Each cotton canvas bag contained it's very own pomegranates, coupons, a POM bracelet and a collection of pomegranate inspired recipes.
|POM Wonderful Party Bag!|
|The adults learning the "ins and outs" of pomegranate opening!|
This pomegranate filled evening was such an amazing experience. It was wonderful to give back to the guests, feed them good food and teach them a bit more about pomegranates. The evening left me feeling so high.... and full of love for pomegranates and friendship! Thank you POM Wonderful for an enchanted evening. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
|Special Thanks to Gigi... the Queen of the Camera! Thank you for documenting our evening in photos!|
Loads of Pomegranate Love and Happy Thanksgiving! - Megan xoxoxo