Pomegranate Khoresh and chard for New Year’s day dinner; also a terrific lunch – 1 January 2012

Well, I said this year I would not worry about sticking to a strict format, and also would not worry about sticking strictly to dinner. Good thing, since lunch was really delicious and interesting. I’ll get to that below dinner, though. I think I ought to give dinner the main part of the post, and also – I didn’t really take any food pictures at lunch!

Not that dinner was such a great photo op, either…

I was charged with using up some leftover ingredients from Christmas, one of which was about 3 1/2 cups of pomegranate juice (RJ Knudsen’s Just Pomegranate). I found this recipe for Pomegranate Khoresh on Epicurious, and it sounded interesting, but was not particularly so. It was perfectly good tasting, just nothing special. The recipe is odd, too – calls for 4 cups of pom juice, mixed with 1/2 lb of ground, toasted walnuts, which is somehow supposed to be the thickness of cream? Water is more like it – water with little walnut powder swimming in it. Thus the admonition to stir frequently lest the nuts burn was irrelevant; further, I decided to uncover and boil vigorously for about 20-25 minutes to lower the amount of liquid to get a reasonable sauce. This worked. I served it over basmati rice.

I pulled some chard from the garden and cut up the leaves, and also the stalks, which I intended to cook at another time. However, the leaves looked a bit measly when I got them all cut up, so I cooked the stalks, too, for several minutes in olive oil, and then added the leaves, salted and peppered, sauteed a bit, added a bit of water, and covered to steam a bit. This was very tasty.

D chose a 2010 Pinot Blanc Vin d’Alsace (Meyer-Fonne) we got at the Solano Cellars Kermit Lynch tasting in December. It was really good with this, but not perfect. No idea what would be, however.

Notes on a great lunch:

The other night I made scallion soup from Saveur, and we just reheated some of that. I had cut and saved very-thin-sliced scallion pieces for the garnish, so we had the entire soup properly. The soup was an afterthought, though – I had intended to make Bocadillos (little sandwiches) from my new cookbook, Pintxos, from my brother B. I followed the recipe except for the bread – instead of sliced sourdough (which does not sound authentically Basque, though it may be) I used the ciabatta I bought for New Year’s Eve dinner. I took about 3″ wide chunks off it, and then sliced across, so the entire bread, top to bottom, was in the sandwich. I topped one side (per the recipe) with speck (smoked prosciutto), some sliced P’tit Basque cheese, Roma tomatoes in 1/4″ slices, more prosciutto (total one slice per sandwich) and then put Dijon mustard on the other piece of bread. Then I grilled them (not brushing with oil – another departure) on my panini press. We had water with lemon to drink. It really was a fantastic lunch.

{Begun the 1st, posted the second}

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