We were late to the disco with this one, but better late than never. We recently discovered the grandeur that is pomegranate juice. Mind you, we’ve had our share of pomtinis and pomagaritas, but there’s more to this sweet, tart liquid than mixing it into a cocktail. Well, we fully support mixing it into a cocktail, so maybe we should further explain. What we mean is that the pomegranate is totally and truly delicious, and so is its juice. We received a lovely box of samples from Molly at Pom Wonderful, and in an overzealous act of experimentation, we took to the kitchen to see what we could do with it. What started as “Let’s make pom glazed salmon” turned into a full course meal with a cold drink to top it off. Sometimes we get so excited about the possibilities that we end up testing them all. That being said, an afternoon of phe-pom-enon was born! Oh, and did we mention we made a lightbox too? Truly pom-tastic.
It should be noted that the idea to make our own lightboxes came about well before we even knew we’d be making so many pom infused dishes. Because we don’t have an SLR or any sort of fancy camera, we really wanted to find a way to take better photos for cheap. Less than $25 actually. And low and behold, we did it! If you want to invest an hour of time to upgrade your work, peep this site. There are many sites out there that will run you through the process, but that’s the one we used. You really don’t understand just how excited we are about this! We feel like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills! We’ll be testing the lightboxes to see how our skills improve. From these pics alone, we can tell a change is comin’. But bear with us as we’re still newbies. Now back to the pom…
These dishes really knocked our striped socks off. First off, the cocktail. We’ve seen granitas all over the net, and we’ve wanted to give it a try for a while. This was so good, we shared it with no one. We finished off everything ourselves in two days. Talk about the summer slushie! The galette was literally a last minute creation. We made one last month, and we had leftover dough in the freezer. We pulled out the dough and got to work stuffing it with sweet apples and tangy pom juice. It was just enough for two people to share. As for the salmon, well it was supposed to be a very simple dish, but we got a bit out of hand…in the best way. The final dish was literally a mouth explosion of flavors and textures–sweet oranges, tangy pomegranate, tender salmon, buttery avocados, crunchy fennel, zesty cumin seeds! This was undoubtedly one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time, and we feel the need to share it with everyone. That’s why we also sent this over to Mara at I Made Dinner for her Guests for Dinner series.
Pomegranate Kiwi Granita Cocktails – Serves 8
4 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup vodka
4 kiwis, chopped
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour half into a large blender and blend smooth.
2. Pour the blended mixture into a jelly roll baking pan and slide into the freezer.
3. Pour the remaining liquid into the blender and, when smooth, transfer it to the jelly roll pan.
4. Freeze for an hour, then scrape semi-frozen liquid with a fork to break up the crystals. Continue to freeze for another 1 1/2 -2 hours, scraping the crystals every 30 minutes or so.
5. Serve crystallized granitas in the vessel of your choice. If there are leftovers, place in a air-tight container and keep in the freezer.
Grilled Salmon with Orange Avocado Salsa, Fennel Polenta and Pomegranate Glaze – Serves 6
2 pounds salmon, cut into fillets
1 large avocado, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large navel orange, chopped
2 vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1 persian cucumber, chopped
Juice and zest of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup ground yellow corn meal
2 cups fennel bulb, chopped
4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup pomegrante juice
2/3 cup port wine
Juice of 1 large navel orange
1. Mix all of the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl. Place in the fridge to meld.
2. Prepare the polenta according to the package directions. Just after stirring the cornmeal to the water, drop in the fennel, queso fresco and salt. Cook according to the package directions. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.
3. As polenta cooks, mix all of the ingredients for the glaze in a shallow sauce pan. Heat over a medium low flame until it thickens slightly, approximately 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. As the polenta and glaze finish up, season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a grill pan. When hot, add salmon. Cook on both sides to desired taste, approximately 4-6 minutes per side.
6. Serve fish over hot polenta. Top with a bit of salsa and drizzle with glaze.
Apple and Pomegranate Galette – Serves 2
Sweet pastry dough (We had about 1/3 of the dough left over from the last galette.)
3 apples, sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 ounces pomegranate juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon milk
1. Place butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add pomegranate juice, vanilla and apples.
2. Add ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugar and stir to incorporate. Cook apples down until they soften and darken in color, approximately 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove from pan and allow to cool in a separate container.
4. Once filling has cooled, roll out dough about 1/4” thick and 6” in diameter. Trim excess if desired.
5. Add apple filling and pull up edges of dough to form a square or rectangular shape.
6. Brush with milk and sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar.
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
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