Sunday, November 28, 2010

POM-a Wonderful Party!


Greetings everyone!  The amazing people at POM Wonderful have sent me great party supplies to make a pomegranate themed dinner party. Awesome, huh? When given this opportunity, I knew I wanted to throw a birthday dinner party for my dear husband. It was the perfect occasion!
But hmm… I had never really worked with pomegranate, never had pure pomegranate juice…  The only time I really paid enough attention to it was when I saw an episode about pomegranates on “Good Eats” by Alton Brown. So, with so little experience in dealing with pomegranates, I knew I had to do my homework before I committed to my menu.
I visited POM Wonderful’s website and learned from there how to open and extract the arils efficiently.  Here is POM’s easy step-by-step way to open a pomegranate:

Cut – With a sharp paring knife, cut off the top about a half inch below the crown.

Score – Once the top has been removed, four to six sections of the pomegranate divided by white membrane will be visible. With the knife’s point, score the skin along each section.

Open – Using both hands, carefully pull the pomegranate apart, breaking it into smaller sections.

Loosen – Over a bowl of water, loosen the arils and allow them to drop freely into the bowl. The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top.

Scoop – Use a spoon to scoop out the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the top of the water.

Strain – Pour the arils and remaining liquid through a strainer.

Haha, no, this is not what I got from POM :) Although she certainly loved the juice and the box!

Well, that seemed easy enough! I tried it, and actually had some good fun separating the arils off of the fruit (but my kitchen looked like a horror movie…). I tried an aril (I personally did not eat the whole thing; I spit the seed out but I know of people who choose to eat the whole thing!) and it was tart and sweet at the same time. Very flavorful! If you like the taste of cranberries, it is a fruit you would really like!
Now knowing the taste of the fruit, I was able to choose the menu.



For starters, I made an appetizer of Hummus drizzled with pomegranate molasses (I found pomegranate molasses at our local international food store), served with assorted chips (pita chips, pretzel sticks, mini toasts).The hummus recipe (which is sooooooooooooo easy to make!) was from one of my favorite blogs, Annie’s Eats, inspired from Cook’s Illustrated. To go along with the wonderful appetizer, we made (and by we, I mean my husband since he is the drink “connoisseur”) a POM-tini. He modified the original recipe from Drinks Mixer a little bit in the drink presentation. Following is the modified recipe:

Ingredients:
2 oz of citron-flavored vodka
1 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
Lemon slices for garnishing martini glass
Sugar for garnishing martini glass

Directions:
Mix first 3 ingredients in a shaker. Rub one lemon slice along each martini glass rim, then dip the glass upside-down on sugar. Add the mixed contents into the garnished glass and serve. Serves 2 glasses.


 For the main course, I made Pomegranate Lamb with Au Jus, with a side of Sweet Potato, Apple and Onion Gratin and Roasted Asparagus. Now I have to say something about the Pomegranate Lamb: the Au Jus part of this recipe is what makes the whole dish! It takes some time to reduce the chicken stock, but it is worth it! The sweetness of the pomegranate juice really complements the marinated lamb meat. The meat itself comes out so tender and moist! For this party I doubled the recipe, and people devoured all the food!

For dessert, I made a simple Vanilla Cupcake with Pomegranate Frosting. The frosting was my creation, and it is below as well. ThPOM juice added a slight pink/tan color to the frosting, which was a nice touch!

POM Wonderful’s Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks butter unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp meringue powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup 
POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice 

Happy Birthday to my lovely husband. Thanks for letting me share this wonderful day with you! I love you very much!

Credit goes to all the wonderful inspirational recipes I followed:
The POM-tini is adapted from Drinks Mixer, the Pomegranate Lamb is a recipe from Foodnetwork.com, the Sweet Potato side is from the great blog Evil Shenanigans, and the Hummus and Vanilla Cupcakes are from Annie’s Eats.

3 comments:

  1. Good addition of the babies photo in this blog.Thanks for this information about the wonderful party.

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  2. I'm sure your husband was so touched by this party. It looks like it was a beautiful evening....complete with cupcakes (my favorite!) Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

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  3. Its really great, this blog has got really very great article.

    ReplyDelete