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November 19, 2009

Popovers It's been quite a while since I made popovers. As a child, I remember our visits with Grandfather Lee. He liked to cook, and we'd often have real Southern, Virginia type of dinners. One time he made popovers and I remember how light and tasting really good these were.

Vicky found a popover recipe and adapted it into a more healthier version. She found that the consistency came out thinner due to using skim milk. I wondered how this would hold up using buttermilk. Fortunately, I had all the ingredients at hand, except that I only had vegetable oil and not canola oil. Actually, I may have some canola oil, but I didn't feel like dragging the chair over so I could get to the cupboard over the stove.

Sure enough, the consistency came out almost like pudding; buttermilk tends to be very thick. I didn't use any herbs, since I wanted to see how it'd taste. Sure enough, as you can tell from the picture, it came out great! Hubby wants to take these all to work, but, umm, I don't think so.

November 13, 2009

Almond Pomegranate Pilaf RecipeZaar is a really good site if you're at a loss as to what to cook. The search feature is really nice - it lets you go by the ingredients. You type in "pomegranate" and you're rewarded with a list containing items such as pomegranate juice, paste, abrils, and so forth. I came up with are these two recipes: Pistachio Pomegranate Pilaf and Wilted Greens with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds.

Both of these recipes are well-written; unfortunately, these also don't have pictures, so you can't see what the final product looks like. As always, I made substitutes to the recipe. I used a package of American basmati rice. You can get 5 lb. bags of basmati rice from India but we don't eat enough basmati rice to spend the $14 that it would call for. I replaced pistachios with toasted almonds. I found wild rice (grown in Minnesota on an Indian reservation) but I was hesitant to buy it. Instead, I used black rice from China, but the water never really exhausted during cooking and I didn't like the way it looked, so I threw out the rice. I should have just swallowed hard and just went ahead and bought the wild rice. I would have had to only use about 1/2 cup and that would have been more than enough. I also eliminated cilantro, since it tastes like ground metal shavings for me.

The flavors really blended very nicely. It tasted tart, a bit acidic, with bursts of sweetness here and there.

Wilted Kale Greens The Wilted Greens recipes calls for raw greens to be served. But I'm just not used to eating kale greens in its raw state. So, I put it in a pot with some water, covered, and let cook for about 10-20 minutes until tender but not too mushy. I substituted toasted pine nuts for pumpkin seeds. The balsamic vinegar flavor adds a really sharp flavor to this dish.

I would definitely cook both recipes again. These would be perfect for a dinner party. Hubby liked the pilaf so much that he had 3 servings. ;-)

Meanwhile, I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the pomegranate seeds. And that other pomegranate sitting on my table. I've been told that these are good to snack on. I may just do that!

November 8, 2009

Pomegranates Figure out what to do with these pomegranates, which I bought at Safeway a couple days ago. They're currently running a "buy 1, get 1 free special". And it's the middle of pomegranate season. It's a very interesting fruit in that most of the inside is made up of seeds with semi-transparent, rather tart-tasting material surrounding the seeds.

From what I know, this fruit has long been regarded as a symbol of fertility. And no wonder - open one up and you'll see about 100 seeds. And it's a very prevalent ingredient in Middle Eastern food. But in recent years, it's become almost a cottage industry here in the US. Everywhere I turn around, I see products including pomegranates being pushed as anti-oxidants and very healthy for you I haven't seen any studies to prove that, so I can't say for certain that this premise is correct. There's a company that has aggressively promoted pomegranates, under the label of POM Wonderful with an orchid that covers over 18,000 acres in California.

There are two ways to use pomegranates - use the seeds or juice. There's a lot of recipes at POM. I'm thinking since I have just two, I may use these in a dessert. Stay tuned . . .

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