Sunday, October 07, 2007

pomegranate molasses, smoked Maldon salt

These were my impulse buys today at the grocery store. Anyone have any (preferably vegetarian) ideas what I can do with these two things?

I'm thinking I could make a pretty awesome salad dressing with the pomegranate molasses. I know it's a Lebanese ingredient, but I'm not sure what it's used for. Marinades, I'd guess? The consistency is more like a syrup than molasses, and the flavor is really concentrated (i.e., you wouldn't want to just pour it straight onto anything, I don't think). Has anyone ever used it?

And the smoked sea salt: Since I'm cooking vegetarian most of the time, I'm always looking for creative ways to introduce a little smokiness, a little umami, to things. Maldon - both the smoked and the regular variety - is very delicate and flaky, and I first had it at a restaurant in Montreal, and I swear it made everything it touched amazing. It seemed to sharpen all the other flavors. There was even a little sprinkled on top of my chocolate pot de creme. Beautiful. (That was the regular, not the smoked -- although, am I crazy for thinking the smoked salt just might work with chocolate or caramel? Maybe?)



Blogger lis said...

I've read a bunch of recipes with pomegranate molasses, but I can't remember anything at the moment. I'll see if I can think of some.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have a pomegranate molasses-based marinade for chicken thighs and salmon that comes from Cooking Light, but I replace the regular balsamic vinegar with white balsamic and use it for kebabs with chicken breast, fruit, and veggies. Substitute tofu cubes and you're vegetarian!

1 c. fresh orange juice
2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar (I use 3)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c olive oil

Combine all except oil, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, sirring constantly with a whisk until well combined. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

You can also add pomegranate molasses to lemonade for pomegranate lemonade! Float pomegranate seeds in it and substitude sparkling water for the plain water and you have a very fancy virgin cocktail. Maybe add pomegranate molasses to champagne?

Re smoked salt: At a wedding reception this summer, we had some fancy chocolates with smoked salt on top. Very sexy!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Shirin said...

Like Sarah said, use tofu and it's vegetarian: Pomegranate Stew - Koresh-e Fesenjan
(a Persian chicken dish)

1/2 C pomegranate molasses or 2 C fresh pomegranate juice
2 C ground walnuts
3 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. saffron (dissolved in 1 Tbs. hot water)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 t turmeric
1 onion - chopped
2-3 Tbs. oil
a large fryer chicken (4-5 pounds - cut up) or duck
1 cup of water

Combine pomegranate molasses or juice, ground walnuts, sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and saffron. Set aside.

Clean chicken removing unnecessary bones and skin.

Place chopped onion and 3 T oil in a pot and saute 3 minutes. Then add the chicken pieces. Add 1 C of water and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the pomegranate mixture and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes longer (check water and add some if it is necessary). Add a little more sugar if you want it sweeter. Transfer to a deep serving pot, cover, and place in a warm oven until ready to serve. Serve with rice.

VARIATION: This stew can be made with meatballs made of ground beef or turkey. Knead one grated onion into one pound of ground meat and shape into meatballs the size of hazelnuts; saute them on all sides in oil and add with onions.

Pomegranate molasses can be found in Middle Eastern or gourmet grocery stores.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Jennywenny said...

I put it in my salad dressing for a touch of sweetness and tartness at the same time.

1:05 PM  

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