Pomegranates!

My most recent Adelaide discovery is the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market. It’s held every Sunday and has an amazing array of delicious fresh produce. Everything that we’ve bought from there has been full of flavour and has stayed fresh for so much longer than the crappy fruit and veg from the supermarket.

I recently bought the April/May edition of Donna Hay magazine and got so excited by the whole section of pomegranate recipes. My eyes were continually drawn towards the most beautiful photo of a ginger, cardamon and pomegranate syrup cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (I didn’t have this, so I just made extra syrup)
  • 1/2 cup treacle
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (I doubled, if not tripled this amount)
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cardamon (I doubled, if not tripled this amount and ground it myself)
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp. bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 3 pomegranates, juice and seeds removed (1 1/2 big ones is enough!)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 160. Mix the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, molasses, treacle and butter. Add the ginger, cardamon, flour and bicarb. Bake for 1 hour in a 24cm round tin. Place the pomegranate juice and sugar in a bowl and mix. Pour over cake and cool completely in the tin. Remove cake and sprinkle with seeds to serve.

I made the cake one day earlier than eating, so I let it cool completely. I then mixed the pomegranate juice, seeds and sugar and heated it in a saucepan until the sugar was dissolved. I then tipped that over the cake before serving.

Recipe taken from Donna Hay  magazine, Issue 62, April/May 2012 (written in my own words)

I loved the cake so much that I made a second one. Again, I’ve kept the syrup separate to make the cake last longer. The cake itself is delicious – quite gingerbready, and I’ve eaten it with the syrup, with yoghurt and with chocolate sauce and they were all great!

Check out the colour!

To avoid possibly making this cake a third time (even though I’m eating for two, my cake consumption is getting scary), I found another amazing looking pomegranate recipe in the same magazine: Quail with pomegranate and pine nut stuffing. Not having quails on hand, and I doubt that I could cook them to Matt Preston perfection anyway, I adapted the recipe to use chicken thigh fillets. So the recipe below is my adapted version, but the original is still from Donna Hay  magazine, Issue 62, April/May 2012.

 Ingredients:

  • couscous (we used about 300g for 4 hungry people)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 tblsp caramelised onion relish
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds and juice removed
  • s&p
  • 5-6 chicken fillets (for 4 people)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • roast vegies (optional)

Put the couscous in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Cover and stand for 10 mins.

Mix the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and half the pomegranate seeds and juice. Put the chicken fillets in this mix. Heat a fry pan and cook the fillets, basting with the pomegranate mix.

Whilst cooking the chicken, mix the garlic, relish, seeds, mint and other half of the pomegranate. Add this to the couscous with s&p.

Serve the chicken on top of the couscous with a side of roast vegies.

Mmmm… Donna Hay – you are the best!

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Masterchef Beijing

When Masterchef Australia finished for the year, I felt that there was a hole in my life. It’s slick. It’s addictive. It’s nail-bitingly tense. It makes you drool. And, it’s educational.

What better way to fill that hole but with more food!! So, we hosted a Masterchef challenge at our place. Every participant was given a mystery ingredient, and that ingredient had to star in 3 courses. We all voted, plus we had a guest judge, in case of any close calls.

The results were fantastic! We had such a wide variety of delicious food – way too much though. Next time, we need to invite extra guests as well.

We had a quite a few dietary restrictions within the group, which made it an extra challenge! By looking at the dishes, you can probably guess what they were.

My ingredient was ginger. For my entree, I made sushi with pickled ginger. When pickling ginger, if it’s young enough, it should naturally turn pink in the pickling process. Mine had no luck  though, so I cheated and used some food colouring. I did a sushi making course ages ago at my fave Japanese restaurant, Hatsune, and I’d been dying to try it out. I think it worked out pretty well! I filled the sushi with carrot, cucumber, daikon and fried enoki mushrooms.

Pickled ginger recipe from: http://www.rain.org/~hutch/ginger.html

My main course was fried tofu in a ginger broth. I really struggled with this one. I think I put a lot of extra thought into my dessert, and lost a bit of focus on the main. It was yummy, just nothing exciting.

My dessert was based around gingerbread. I made edible cups and spoons of gingerbread. Then I filled them with chocolate risotto. I’d seen Jamie Oliver make choccy risotto on TV, and had been dying to try it out. I topped the dish with candied ginger too!

Candied ginger from: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/12/candied-ginger/

And here are some pics of what the other contestants cooked:

Andy‘s ingredient was carrot. He made carrot soup with baby carrot rolls, carrot ravioli with pickled carrots and carrot cake icecream with candied carrot. And, he was the champion of the day!

Michelle‘s ingredient was lemon. She made baked fennel stuffed with lemon, lemon risotto and lemon curd panna cotta.

Nic’s ingredient was chocolate. She made mexican chocolate soup, mole and jicama salad, followed by Ancho chilli and chocolate truffles.

Zac‘s ingredient was chilli. He made pan-fried salmon with chilli salsa, chickpea and chilli curry and chocolate chilli muffins.

As you can imagine, after all this food, it was nap time!