Friday, November 6, 2015

It's Pomegranate Season! Celebrate With 3 Recipes! A Chicken Meal, A Salad, & A Warm Pomegranate Cider!

As I walk down the aisle in my supermarket, I can see that one of my favorite winter fruits are being displayed. The Pomegranates have arrived! I remember when I was young my grandmother, (Nanni) was the first person to show me a pomegranate and how to eat them. She loved them and would always tell me stories of when she was young and how she learned about this colorful sweet, tart, juicy fruit. Mostly at holiday time is when she would bring out the pomegranates. We would pull up our sleeves as not to get them stained and start opening them. Sometimes we would eat the seeds as we were opening them, but other times we would not touch one and fill a big bowl. Then we would take a spoonful and pop them in our mouths. We would giggle as we could see our lips turn red from the seeds that we just squished in our mouths. This time of the year brings back many wonderful memories of pomegranates and more so of my Nanni.
Nanni and myself
The season for Pomegranates runs from September to January. They grow on shrubs or small trees and are considered a berry. The seeds are edible and can vary from 200 to about 1400 seeds in each depending on the size. Italians love them and consider them “Royal” fruit because they appear so much in Renaissance paintings. Pomegranates were also thought to be the “apple”that Eve plucked in the Garden of Eden. Many cultures have used the pomegranates throughout the world for symbols, health benefits, and religious reasons. Pomegranates represent health, fertility, and rebirth. By legend it is said that the seeds have mystical healing powers. 

Nutritional benefits of eating a pomegranate include vitamin C, vitamin B5, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree are used as a remedy against dysentery. The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart and throat. The astringent qualities are also good for a variety of purposes from stopping nose bleeds to skin aliments. When buying pomegranates, choose ones that are deep-red colored and are heavy for their size; this usually indicates that they’ll be sweet-flavored, juicy ones. 

Renaissance paintings
This sweet, juicy, and ruby red exotic fruit can be intimidating to anyone that has not tasted it before. However, opening a pomegranate and removing the juicy red seeds (actually arils) is quite simple. With a sharp knife, cut off the crown top of the pomegranate. Make a spiral cut in the skin around the fruit. Holding with both hands, pull the pomegranate apart to break into half, then into quarters. Invert each quarter by pushing the skin with your thumbs to let the seed fall out. There still may be remaining seeds, take them out with your fingers. You should be able to get 1 cup of seeds. Remove any white pith as it is bitter in taste.

You can use pomegranate seeds and juice for a number of recipes, from adding them to salads or to creating scrumptious desserts. One of my three recipes this week is called “Winter Salad with Pears and Pomegranates” another is called “Rosemary Pomegranate Chicken,” and then you have to have a cocktail which I call, “Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider.” A meal fit for a royal King or Queen….

“Winter Salad with Pears and Pomegranates"

Depending on how many people you are serving will determine how much salad greens you need. So, I am giving you just the names of the ingredients. You can decide on how much you need.

Ken’s Steak House Lite Raspberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing
Red Bartlett Pears (ripe) cored & cut into thin slices
1 Pomegranate (seeds only)
Toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
Combination of salad greens:
Baby Spinach, Romaine, Red Leaf, Endive, Radicchio, Boston or Bib Leaf, Arugula, Frisee, and Iceberg Lettuce
Cucumber slices (thin)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and clean all salad greens, then pat dry. Tear the greens gently and place in a big bowl. Add the cucumber slices and then pour on the Raspberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Gently toss to coat. Salt and Pepper to taste. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and toasted walnuts. Place salad on a plate or in a bowl and then add your Red Pear slices on top of the dressed greens. Beautiful, colorful and delicious too!


“Rosemary Pomegranate Chicken

Dinner for 8 ready in an hour! Serve your family this chicken with rosemary in a skillet, then top with pomegranate seeds. Delish!!

Total time: 60 minutes
Serves: 8

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 sprig (5 inch) fresh rosemary
8 bone-in chicken breasts (4 lb)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 425°F  In 1-quart saucepan, mix pomegranate juice, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and the rosemary sprig. Heat to simmering; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup. Remove from heat; discard rosemary sprig. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; set glaze aside.

Rub all sides of chicken with chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add 4 chicken breasts, skin side down; cook 5 to 6 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet to shallow roasting pan. Repeat with remaining chicken. Place chicken skin side up in pan; baste with 1/2 cup of the glaze.

Bake uncovered 35 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone, (at least 165°F) basting once with 1/4 cup glaze. Drizzle chicken with remaining glaze. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Enjoy!

Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider

6 cloves
3 thin slices ginger
5 cups apple cider
1 cup pomegranate juice
6 sticks cinnamon

Stick 2 cloves into each slice of ginger. In a large pot over high heat, bring the cider and pomegranate juice to a boil with the ginger. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.. Pour into mugs and serve each with a cinnamon stick.
Source: for the chicken dish

Till Next Time………………………

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  1. Hi Dottie,
    What a lovely post about pomegranates. I have 4 of them waiting on the shelf. When I was in Italy a friend told me she made a fantastic "faraona" (popular meat in Italy) or guinea fowl cooked with pomegranate juice. She said the sweet and acidic flavor of the pomegranate went fantastically with the meat. I want to try cooking meat with it.
    Your chicken here looks so good! And it is easy with chicken breast. Love this recipe, your Nanny taught you well. Love the salad and the pomegranate apple cider too which I think it will be fantastic for Christmas as well!
    I wish you a wonderful weekend :-)

    1. Hi Alida,
      Thank you for your comments! I have so many of these ruby red fruits as well. They are filling up my fruit bowl. Very good fruits and many antioxidants, very healthy, beside fun to eat..I know that it is yummy with meat especially, chicken and pork. Yes these recipes are simple and quick to prepare..I always try to make recipes that have less time to make as it is hard sometimes to get dinner together when you have the children, and just got home from work..I already have this drink on my list for Christmas, you are correct..So glad that you enjoyed reading this post. Have a wonderful and fun weekend! Ciao!
      Dottie :)

  2. Good evening Dottie ,
    I thinks you have some of the greatest posts with so much useful information , always something new to learn .
    Love the way you prepared the different dishes with the pomegranates with the cooking of meats . It also help make meat more tender and gives it zip .
    Most everyone down here has a pomegranate / pecan tree and fig bush on there property .
    We planted a pomegranate tree at the lake so now we have two .
    My family also make jelly out of pomegranates , hmmm good .
    Late reading your post , we close the cabin for the winter . The men will fish there year round , maybe if the days are nice , we may spend some time there . But it rain for the last 3 days , the weatherman said it would rain for the next few days .
    Have a great weekend my friend :) Nee

    1. Dear Nee,
      Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment! So glad that you are enjoying my blog posts...Yes, I could eat pomegranates all the time. They are so good, a lot of fun to eat, and very healthy..I thought maybe you may have trees down in your neck of the woods...I like pecans but love figs, so that would be wonderful to have those trees. Wow, jelly, never had pom jelly..must be delish! That is ok I understand we all have our "life" to live. It would be nice to go to the cabin once in a while to get away from things...I know about the rain, we have had rain and very, very mild. It was in the high 70's this past week. The weekend is going to be cooler, but then next week it will be mild again.Hope that your weekend is going well...they are too short for me...have been working on my 12 days of Christmas blog post. I was going to do it last year but then due to my health I couldn't do it. This year I plan on posting everyday till Christmas for the 12 days before. I have a few done already which is good so they are not stressing me out. Be well and will chat soon...Blessings!
      Dottie :)

  3. Hello Dottie ,
    What a lovely blog you have , I thank you for visiting me and reading about Gunner Hansen passing . We are big fans of his work and he will be sadly miss .
    I have a partner on the blogs (we have 4) they are on our sidebar and Nee has them on her sidebar .
    I called Nee , asked her where you lived , she said NY , well , you flew right over us on your way to Texas .
    Nee is my niece .
    Again I thank you for visiting and I will be back . Nee told me you was doing the 12 days of Xmas , now that I will enjoy . Nee also told me what days you post , look for me . Have a nice week . Witchy :-D

  4. Hello Witchy,
    I thought you may have had something to do with Nee. Your website and hers is alike. Thank you for stopping by...Nee is a wonderful and such a friendly her blog as well. So sad about Gunnar, we got word the other night that he was in Hospice and it would be soon that he would go to the other side. I have so many photos that are with Gunnar and my husband at the conventions...So many stories and as a fan of his you know I am sure a lot about him. I can't tell you have kind, and gentle he was..You would think that a big tall man as him and especially in horror movies you would be afraid of him, but from the first time I saw him he was a true gentleman and so very intelligent. So many of the original Chainsaw cast members have passed away within the years that we have been following them. Yes we were in Texas in 2001 and flew right over you...We went to Houston and then to Austin to see the path the movie took from the cemetery to the house it was filmed in, even the gas station.
    I didn't know you were Nee's niece. That is so nice that you have 4 in the group. That must make blogging fun. I enjoyed your blog as well. I will be back too. Thanks and glad that you liked my blog posts. Yes, my plan is doing the 12 Days of Christmas, one a day from December 13-24th. I did this 2 years ago and my theme this year will be "Old World Santas." I just finished the first one yesterday as it takes a lot of research, but it will be worth it to have my readers and followers enjoy this years theme! Glad that you spoke to Nee..and she told you the days that I post...looking forward to sharing with another blogger friend. Thanks again..have a fun and wonderful week too...
    Dottie :)

    1. Dottie ,
      I am a night owl and I do most of my posts when the house is quiet .

      I had to check my comment ... Nee is my niece .
      my partner lives in Canada and we met online commenting on a site . We decided we wanted to stay in touch so we started the first blog and the rest is history . That was October 2008 , yes , it's fun .
      Have a good night .
      Witchy :-D