Friday, October 9, 2009

Sweet & Sour with a Dash of Pomegranate

One of the things that really says Fall to me, other than changing leaves and sudden gusts of wind, is the appearance of pomegranates in the produce section. There are so many products on the shelves that feature pomegranates, touting it's superfood capacity as an antioxidant, but so few people actually eat pomegranates as they are naturally, and in the short season that they're available. I think that's a terrible shame. I believe that what is stopping people is the foreignness of the fruit, and the mystery of how to approach it. Once you learn how get into it and how to eat it (which is as simple as cutting it open and eating the kernels inside, which look a lot like red corn kernels), you can do a million things with them! They offer great color and taste contrast in savory dishes, and they offer textural interest in sweet dishes. Here are a few easy things to do with your pomegranate (that you will surely buy this week):

- Toss into a green salad
- Toss into a fruit salad
- Toss a handful into your morning oatmeal or cold cereal
- Eat as a snack (lots of fun for kids)
- Cranberry Apple Pomegranate Sauce
- Garnish savory dishes featuring fruit-friendly proteins, such as fish, pork, chicken or shrimp
- Make Sweet & Sour Stir Fry ........

Sweet & Sour Stir Fry
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine - sold in Asian food stores and some grocery stores)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (sold in health food stores)
1 Tbsp. unsulphured blackstrap molasses
2 inches of ginger, cut into chunks (no need to peel)
pinch coarse salt
14 oz. brown rice fettuccini
1/4 cup safflower oil
1.25 lbs. mahi mahi, skinned and cut into 1" cubes
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, cut in thin 2" strips
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin 2" strips
1 bunch scallions, cut into thin 2" strips
1/2 cup pomegranate kernels
1/2 cup raw cashews or peanuts, rough chopped (optional)

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, mirin, lime juice, brown rice syrup, molasses, ginger and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and reduce the sauce by about half (about 15 minutes). Fish the chunks of ginger out and discard, and reserve the sauce.

Cook the fettuccini according to package directions.

In a very large wok or stainless steel skillet, heat the safflower oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish and stir fry until just cooked. Remove the fish from the skillet and set aside. Add the cabbage, carrots and red pepper, and stir fry until the cabbage is wilted and the carrot has softened a bit (10 minutes). Return the fish to the pan and add the sweet and sour sauce. Stir to combine. Add the fettuccini and toss until combined thoroughly and heated through.

Serve in bowls garnished with a sprinkle of scallions, pomegranate kernels and nuts.

Serves 4-6.

Source of pomegranate photo:

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