Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pom-Cherry Cocktail

All those beautiful pomegranates sitting in displays every time I go through the store.  They've been calling to me.  We got them less than once a year when I was little.  Probably due to the fact they they were scarce in our little town, but also because they were a pain to de-seed.  Lately, posts have been going around about a super easy way to seed them.  I mean like in a matter of minutes.  Well it works!  I just sliced around the middle instead of straight through and then pried it in half to preserve the seeds.  Then you push on the bottom to loosen a little before tapping with a wooden spoon.  Now, if you happen to push too hard and break off a piece, you can still successfully use the spoon technique on that piece to get the seeds out.  Believe me, it happened twice.  
I have been doing a lot of baking for other people the past few weeks and it gets a bit stressful.  Especially since I am also starting holiday baking as well.  Croutons and cranberry sauce and such.  Enter the antioxidant loaded cocktail!  Take a moment to relax in between batches of whatever...  If you can't find fresh pomegranates, you can always use a cherry for a garnish.

Pomegranate Cherry Cocktail
serves 2

¼ cup vodka
½ cup pomegranate cherry juice (or ¼ cup each pom and cherry juice)
1/3 cup simple syrup or to taste
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ cup pomegranate arils
½ cup crushed ice

Rim two 4-6 oz. cocktail glasses with sugar and set aside.

In a cocktail mixer, combine vodka, juices and simple syrup.  Add ice and shake to mix.

Add a couple tablespoons pomegranate arils to each glass and pour the drink over top.


(Please drink responsibly.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chicken and Black Bean Salad

This was the recipe that got away.  I made this sometime in the first year or so of our marriage.  It was one of those recipes in an ad for a product.  Green Tabasco I suspect.  It went over swimmingly and hubby declared it a definite keeper.  Then I lost it for the next twelve years.  A few years back I asked my mom to look for it since I had emailed it to her once.  Well lo and behold, she actually found a printed out copy of the email.  It was barely legible, but she scanned it and emailed it back to me and I was eventually able to decipher it.  Happy day!  We had it tonight and it was just as good as we remember.  A great summer or fall dish, since it is just lightly warm, nicely filling, but not too heavy.  Another reason I hadn't made it recently was that green Tabasco has corn starch in it, which makes it not okay for R.  But today I found a local green pepper sauce with only three ingredients.  This recipe is back on the menu!  (Though you could always use regular tabasco, it doesn't have starch.)  Do give this recipe a try, it is full of wonderful flavor and color.

Chicken and Black Bean Salad
Serves 4

2 tbsp oil, divided
1 medium red onion, diced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into ¾" pieces
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, diced
½ c pepperoncini peppers, seeded and diced (I found a garlic dill version for tonight)
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¾ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp green pepper sauce (like Green Tabasco)
butter bib or romaine or green leaf lettuce leaves
salt and lemon pepper

Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add red onion, cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove to large bowl.  Add remaining oil to skillet.  Season chicken lightly with salt and lemon pepper.  Cook and stir chicken over medium high heat about 5 minutes or until well browned.  Add beans and heat through.

Combine red onion, chicken, beans, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, vinegar, salt and tabasco in the large bowl.  To serve, line platter or single serve plates with lettuce and top with chicken salad.

Garnish with extra whole pepperoncinis if desired.

Ha, NOW they have it on their website.  Didn't for years.