Thursday, December 23, 2010
There is going to be a pomegranate theme to my next couple of postings.
Myself and the very talented Jo, work together on food shoots. Check out her website,
Basically I cook the food and she makes it look incredible. We generally raid our friends and families cupboards for nice props.
We decided just to do these photos for fun as we get a bit more artistic licence that way.
I love pomegranates and though they are not local, it is their season and lovely way to brighten up your table this time of year. They are also really versatile and can be used in savoury and sweet concoctions. And they are good for us too. To get the pomegranate arils (jewel-like seeds) out, cut your pomegranate in half, the same way as you would if juicing and orange. Then holding the half over the bowl bang on the skin and the arils will tumble out, pick out any white pith that falls in.
Another ingredient I am quite partial too which you may now from previous postings is pomegranate molasses. This has a lovely sweet sour taste that can be used to add depth to sweet or savoury dishes. Hope you enjoy the next few postings and have a great christmas and New year Dxx
These buttermilk and ricotta pancakes with frosted red grapes would make a lovely Christmas day brekkie. Serve the bellinis alongside for a really decadent start to the day. The ricotta makes the pancakes lighter than just buttermilk ones. The dip that follows is nice to serve with crudites if people drop by for drinks.
Recipe for light and airy ricotta pancakes with frosted grapes
This recipe is adapted from Anna Hansen of The Modern Pantry - a really lovely restaurant in Clerkenwell, London.
400g red seedless grapes
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp of pomegranate seeds
For the pancakes
150g self-raising flou
½ tsp salt
25g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs, separated
65g melted butter
250g crème fraîche to serve
a dash of Sunflower oil
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1. Put the grapes in a roasting tin just large enough to hold them. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses, then sprinkle over the sugar and roast for 30-40 minutes. The grapes should just be beginning to break down. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their juices. Once cool stir through some pomegranate seeds.
2. Sift the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk and melted butter and lightly mix into the dry ingredients.
3. Carefully fold in the ricotta, taking care not to break it up too much. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then, using a metal spoon, carefully fold them into the batter a third at a time.
4. Heat a little butter and oil in a large frying pan, then add 4 dollops (about 2 tbsp for each pancake) of the batter, spaced apart. Flip pancake over and cook on the other side.
5. Place the pancakes on a roasting tim in the oven to continue cooking through as they are quite thick. Continue to cook the remaining pancakes.
To serve, place 1-3 pancakes on each plate, spoon over the roast grapes and add a dollop of crème fraîche on the side.
1 bottle of Prosecco /champagne
Pomegranate seeds ( optional)
1.Fill your Champagne glass a 1/4 with pomegranate juice , add a dash of syrup and a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds.
2.Fill glass up slowly with some bubbly. Maybe just warn people about the seeds as people sometimes gulp down too quickly. Merry Christmas
Pomegranate yoghurt dip
1/2 large ripe pomegranate - arils (seeds) only
2 cups plain yogurt
2 scallions, white and tender green, finely chopped
3 tbsp of finely chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon of cumin ground
1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses
To serve: Steamed carrots and broccoli, radishes, pitta crisps and chorizo ,
1.Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally and bang on the half with a wooden spoon to release the seeds.
2.Combine the yogurt, scallions, ground cumin, pomegranate molasses and 2/3 of the coriander in a bowl. Gently fold in all but 1 tablespoons of the pomegranate seeds. Mix it well
3.Transfer the yogurt dip to a glass bowl and garnish with leftover coriander and the reserved pomegranate seeds.
My next posting will look at further uses for pomegranates. I should be all “pomegranted” out at that stage Dxx