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Posts Tagged ‘pomegranate seeds’

Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark Candy

The intensity of bittersweet chocolate mixed with the spicy zip of candied ginger tantalizes my taste buds beyond delight, but the bursts of fresh, tart, pomegranate juice in my mouth sends them into pure ecstasy. This confection combines few ingredients to create a depth of flavors you’d not expect from such a simple recipe. Individually, each ingredient is potent enough to stand alone, but when combined, they deliver an incredible treat. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate, zingibain-rich ginger, and antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice give impressive reasons to eat this candy. Too bad I had to force myself to sample so many pieces to write this review!

Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark
Recipe from Oct/Nov issue of Fine Cooking Magazine

Ingredients:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), broken into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)
1½ Tbs. minced candied ginger
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper.

2. Put the chocolate in a wide, shallow, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until it just starts to melt, about 1 minute. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, heating in additional 15-second increments if necessary.

3. Gently stir half of the pomegranate seeds, the ginger (break up any clumps with your fingers), and the salt into the chocolate.

4. Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into an 8×10-inch rectangle.

5. Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds evenly over the top, pressing them into the chocolate.

6. Refrigerate until fully set, about 30 minutes.

7. Break the bark into chunks with your hands (be careful not to crush the seeds), and serve. The bark will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Serves 6

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Obviously, the better quality chocolate you use, the better tasting bark you’ll have.
2. To open up a pomegranate see the instructions in my “Linnell’s Notes” section of my post Brussels Sprouts Roasted on the Stalk. The pomegranates I had were huge, so I used more pomegranate seeds than called for. The next time I make this recipe (and I will be making this again), I will cut back on the amount of pomegranate seeds.
3. I minced a little bit of extra candied ginger to sprinkle on top of the bark.
4. You might be considering omitting the salt from this recipe, but don’t! I think the salt adds a good counterbalance to the other flavors.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

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Roasting Brussels Sprouts on a Stalk
Are you a hater or a lover . . . of Brussels sprouts, that is? Which category do you fall into? Scientists at Cornwall College have discovered a genetic reason why people fall into one category or the other. These scientists discovered that some people have a mutated gene which makes them immune to the bitterness of Brussels sprouts. Too bad for those who don’t eat these sprouts, though, because they are packed with nutrients – with high levels of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron, just to name a few. I purchased a whole stalk of Brussels sprouts at an Asian market for only $3.99 and roasted it, stalk and all, in maple syrup and olive oil. For an added nutritional punch, I sprinkled fresh pomegranate seeds over it. Treat your family to this visually interesting, nutritionally-charged vegetable this Thanksgiving and you’ll feel less guilty about serving them the other nutritionally-challenged Thanksgiving fare!

Brussels Sprouts Roasted On The Stalk
Recipe from Trader Joe’s and The Fresh Market

Ingredients:
1 Brussels sprout stalk
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Fresh pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, for garnish

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Trim the stalk down to the fullest, best looking part, if necessary. Trim sprouts off one side of stalk to make a flat bottom. Also trim off any discolored or blemished leaves. Brussels sprouts stalk 3. Rinse stalk and trimmed sprouts in fresh water.
4. Wrap damp stalk in plastic wrap and heat in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes (or blanch in a large pot of boiling water). Place trimmed loose sprouts in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes.

Blanched Brussels sprout stalk

Blanched Brussels sprout stalk

5. Whisk maple syrup and olive oil together. Place stalk flat-side down along with any loose sprouts in a roasting pan and pour the maple sugar mixture over it.
6. Use a pastry brush to mop the maple syrup mixture onto all sides of the sprouts and stalk.
7. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Brussels sprout stalk

Ready for oven

8. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until sprouts on the stalk are fork tender and caramelize to a golden color.
9. To serve: Place stalk on a holiday platter, pour any syrup from the roasting pan over the stalk. Garnish with something bright and tart such as cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds*. Roasted Brussels sprout stalk with pomegranate seeds

Serves 6 – 8

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The stalk I bought was covered evenly with sprouts, so I did not need to trim off any straggly stem.
2. Before trimming the sprouts off of one side, you need to decide first which side is the most attractive, then turn it upside down and trim off the sprouts that prevent it from laying down flat. Trim off as few as possible. I did not trim off any near the top back portion of the stalk, because when I flipped it over it was balanced and laid flat nicely.
3. If you are blanching the stalk in a large pot of boiling water, instead of microwaving it, you will have to turn the stalk over so that the both ends of the stalk gets some time in the hot water.
4. For easy clean-up, I covered my roasting pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
5. When selecting pomegranates, select the heaviest ones. They’ll contain more juice. It’s not important how red they are on the outside, unless you’re buying pomegranates to dry for decorations.
6. To serve, I just snipped the sprouts off with kitchen shears and served them on the same platter.

*How to cut open a pomegranate easily and without a mess:
1. Wash and dry the exterior of the pomegranate.
2. Fill a medium-large bowl with water and put it in the sink.
3. Cut off the top, just below the crown, and then cut the bottom off.
4. Notice that four to six sections of white membrane are now exposed. Cut the skin vertically along each section.
5. Put the pomegranate into the bowl of water and break apart along the cut lines.
6. Break the sections into smaller parts, loosening the arils and allowing them to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
7. Using a spoon or your hands, scoop up the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the surface of the water.
8. Pour the arils and liquid through a strainer and let drain.

ENJOY!

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