Several weeks ago I entered a contest on PomWonderful.com to be one of 100 people chosen to host a Pomegranate Dinner Party…and I was chosen! The gracious people at PomWonderful sent me an amazing host package, complete with two cases of Pomegranates, coupons for free bottles of PomWonderful Pomegranate Juice, an apron and cutting board, as well as goodies to share with my dinner party attendees.
The final entries are being judged on three components:
- Best incorporation of Pomegranates into the food and drink
- Most inspired Pomegranate decor
- Most successful “How to open a Pomegranate” presentation
I have a confession. Until this package arrived, I’d never tasted a Pomegranate or anything even Pomegranate flavored (besides my Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Gloss). I entered this contest as a challenge to myself, to learn about and hopefully try something new- as well as being able to plan an entire party around one fruit.
I was thrilled to be selected, and when my goodies from PomWonderful arrived I couldn’t wait to try a pomegranate.
Luckily for me, the host kit included instructions on how to open a Pomegranate. I followed these instructions, and found that it’s pretty simple to open and remove the seeds. I was so excited to try my first Pomegranate- and I loved it! It was sweet, juicy, and tart- a perfect combination in my book! Part of the requirements for the dinner party were that each host would do a presentation to instruct guests on how to open a Pomegranate- so I spent plenty of time perfecting my technique..so much so that the apron I was sent in my host kit was stained with Pomegranate juice (a sign of super juicy fruit) and in the washer the night of my party!
I began planning my party immediately, sending the word out to my friends and family that I would be having a dinner party. I was even asked by one friend to teach her how to open a Pomegranate. Perfect! I began searching for recipes that either called for Pomegranate in their original state, or recipes I could tweak a little by substituting Pomegranate Juice for something else. Here’s the final menu:
I have to say that dinner was delicious..and I’m not just saying that because I cooked it- the friends and family I cooked for said it for me. I was excited to find the the Pomegranate is versatile- it works well with sweet dishes as well as savory, and paired easily with everything I had in mind. I had some minor last minute changes to my menu- I attempted to make homemade goat cheese, but failed miserably, so I used store bought. In the heat of the moment, I forgot to have someone take a picture of the Roasted Cauliflower- so just picture some golden brown cauliflower florets tossed with garlic cloves, fresh parsley and fresh lemon juice. It was a hit! Here are the pictures from dinner- and I’ll share recipes soon!
|Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms marinated in the Pomegranate Citrus Glaze used for the Chicken|
|Pomegranate Citrus Glazed Chicken served on a bed of Baby Spinach topped
with Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Red Wine Vinaigrette on the side
|Profiteroles with Pomegranate Syrup and Pomegranate Cream|
|Pomegranate Lemonade Spritzers with optional Vodka|
I truly had a great time with this party from the moment my Pomegranates arrived. Looks like my friends did too:
|The kiddo’s had their own dinner party with Homemade Mac and Cheese|
|Something must have been funny!|
|I forgot Dan is a vegetarian, and he was a great sport! Took the stuffing out of the mushrooms, and
enjoyed my Mac and Cheese with a side of Spinach and goat cheese!
Another requirement of this dinner party was to use Pomegranates in your decorations as well as your food. I knew immediately what I wanted to do, I just had to figure out the logistics! I wanted to have a hurricane glass filled with Pomegranate Arils surrounding a candle, so the candle would illuminate the arils and cast a lovely red glow on the dinner table. I was able to pull it off- along with some fall leaves and fresh pomegranates, and I’m super proud of my centerpiece!
The last requirement was to give a presentation on how to open a Pomegranate. Not a problem..I love to talk with a knife in my hand! I seem to make goofy faces when I talk, and a video would have been mortifying..But I do have some pictures to share!
Here’s a quick step by step on how to easily open a pomegranate:
- Make sure you’ve got a cutting board, sharp knife and an apron. These things are juicy!
- Fill a large bowl with water and set aside.
- Slice the top off of the pomegranate, just beneath the crown.
- Use your knife to score the pomegranate into sections using the membrane as a guide
- Pull sections apart, like you would an orange, using both hands.
- Hold over the water, and use your fingers to separate the membrane from the seeds- let the seeds fall into the water.
- When finished, you’ll notice that the seeds are at the bottom of the bowl and pieces of membrane are floating at the top.
- Use a spoon or small strainer to scoop out bits of membrane
- Pour seeds into a strainer
- Enjoy- pop a few into your mouth, use as a garnish, or refrigerate in an airtight container to use later