Monday, December 23, 2019

In Praise Of Pomegranates.


I shot these pictures of pomegranates at The Underground Gardens of Baldassare Forestiere, in Fresno, California.
Click HERE to learn about our visit to the gardens.  It's quite an interesting place.

Now, back to what-to-do-with-pomegranates.

  I recently posted my pomegranate entrée -  seared scallops in a pool of reduced pomegranate sauce.  Now, I have an appetizer and a dessert, all using the beautiful crimson seeds, or arils, from the pomegranate – first as a pop of tart flavor with oysters on the half shell and then as an accent for a frozen dessert.

First, we have to get into the pomegranate to get the goods.  Slice it in half and, holding each half over a bowl, spank it with a wooden spoon, letting the arils fall into the bowl along with the juices.  Squeeze halves to dislodge any remaining seeds and to get all the juice.  Discard the rind and the fleshy membranes.

For my appetizer, I’m going with oysters on the half shell topped with a spinach mixture and accented with piquant pomegranate seeds.

Rosie’s Oysters On The Half Shell With A Pomegranate Punch
Shuck and arrange 2 dozen oysters on a baking sheet.

For the toppings:
1 TB unsalted butter
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 cups chopped spinach
2 TB cream
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 TB chopped red pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese
Panko breadcrumbs
Pomegranate arils

In a medium skillet, melt the butter.  Add onion and cook, stirring, for a minute.  Add spinach and stir until just wilted.  Add cream and red pepper, stirring to combine.  Remove from heat.
Top each oyster with a teaspoon or so of the spinach mixture.  Add bacon, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and a sprinkling of arils.  Run under a 450° broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and the panko is slightly browned.

Next, I have a pomegranate and cranberry frozen treat - a perfect ending for your holiday meal.
Cranberry and Pomegranate Cream
3 cups cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pomegranate seeds

Pulse cranberries in food processor until fine.
Transfer to mixing bowl and stir in sugar.
Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Drain any accumulated juices from the cranberries.
Stir in the marshmallows and the drained pineapple.
Set aside.
Whip heavy cream in large mixing bowl until it begins to thicken.
Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, 3-5 minutes.
Fold whipped cream into cranberry mixture, 1/3 at a time, until fully incorporated.
Transfer to 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
Before serving, garnish with pomegranate arils.  Drizzle with honey, if desired. 


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