Sunday, December 28, 2008
With cookies flying everywhere lately, I almost forgot to post this recipe for Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Glaze. That would have been a shame because this dish, which I created a couple of months ago, has skyrocketed to the top of my go-to recipe list.
Creamy, sweet, red-fleshed Garnet sweet potatoes are roasted until caramelized then drizzled with a tangy honey and pomegranate glaze. Then they're dotted with ruby red pomegranate arils, toasted walnuts, and savory thyme for a highly textured, flavorful, and aromatic side dish.
Pomegranates are easy to find now due to their popularity at Christmas time. But don't delay, since their season usually runs from late October through January.
I'm telling you, this is one side dish that can steal the show from an entree any night of the week.
So, tell me, how do you use pomegranates in savory dishes?
Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Glaze
Makes 4 servings
Print recipe only here.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 sprigs thyme, plus 1 extra for garnish
salt and black pepper
mix 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice with 1 tablespoon honey OR
mix 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice with 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
If you prefer, you could substitute 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses* for the glaze.
1/4 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons pomegranate arils
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking dish or sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
In a large bowl toss diced potatoes with olive oil, honey, thyme, and salt and pepper, until well coated.
Roast potatoes for 45-50 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium high heat, add pomegranate juice with honey or brown sugar; bring to a boil, then reduce until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. If you are using pomegranate molasses, then simply make sure it is at room temperature or warm before drizzling it over the potatoes.
Place potatoes in a serving dish, drizzle with pomegranate glaze and lightly toss until well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and pomegranate arils.
*Pomegranate molasses (also called pomegranate syrup or paste) is a thick sweet and sour syrup used in many Middle Eastern recipes. It can be found in Middle Eastern specialty markets. Or you can make your own. Elise of Simply Recipes tells you how here.
You might also like these pomegranate recipes:
Persimmon and Pomegranate Salsa
Winter Jewel Fruit Salad
Low-Fat Lemony Medjool Date and Pomegranate Scones
Looking for more pomegranate recipes? Then check out my latest Foodie View article, Impossibly Appealing Pomegranates, which includes over a dozen pomegranate recipes for everything from breakfast to appetizers to desserts.
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Friday, December 26, 2008
What is the complete opposite of Christmas cookies? I just did some research; turns out that the complete opposite of a Christmas cookie is a strawberry guava. The Cherimoya comes in a close second, so it's getting its own post in a couple of days.
It's no wonder this sexy fruit is native to Brazil, the land of beautiful bronzed bodies and gorgeous beaches. Everything about a strawberry guava says, "look at me."
Eating a strawberry guava is a memorable sensory experience. First it entices you with its intoxicating perfume of ripe summer strawberries and tart pink grapefruit. Its butter cup yellow rind is smooth and soft to the touch, evoking warmth and sunshine. One bite of a strawberry guava will make you understand why it's called "exotic." The creamy, fruity flesh is the color of roses, while the flavor is a beautiful combination of tangy, sweet grapefruit, juicy, ripe strawberries, and late summer grapes.
Most U.S. guavas are grown in Hawaii and Florida, though the strawberry guavas you see here were grown in Southern California and generously given to me by our friend, Adel. These strawberry guavas have a pastel yellow skin yet also come in bright red or deep purple. When buying strawberry guavas or any variety of guava really, look for a fragrant fruit that is free of blemishes and soft to the touch. Hold it in your hand, and give it a gentle squeeze; it should give slightly, being neither too hard nor too squishy.
If it's unripe and hard, then place the guava in a paper bag with a yellow banana. The banana will produce ethylene, which will speed up the ripening process. Keep unripened guavas at room temperature. Though fully ripened guavas can be refrigerated for several days, they are best eaten sooner and fresher. Also note that the entire fruit is edible, from the rind to the flesh to the small white seeds.
You're probably wondering, "Where can I buy strawberry guavas?" Given their status as "exotic" fruit, strawberry guavas, along with most guava varieties, can be difficult to find. Your best bet is try a high-end organic store such as Whole Foods or the online site Melissas.com. Or take a vacation to San Diego, where they can currently be found at our farmers' markets. (Plus, if you do it before January 1st, you can use it as a write-off on your taxes from all your blogging money. Hahahahhaha.)
Though most guavas are eaten simply out-of-hand, they can be made into jams and sauces, or blended into drinks. I have done none of them. In fact there is no recipe today. Just luscious strawberry guavas. Because after posting 228 Christmas cookies, this is truly the anti-Christmas cookie post.
You might also like:
Winter Jewel Fruit Salad
Pancakes with Fresh Raspberry-Strawberry Sauce
Honeyed Orange Ginger Muffins (Quat, Optional)
Cranberry, Banana, and Honey Smoothie
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Monday, December 22, 2008
Here they are: 228 Christmas cookies from around the world!
Many thanks to all of you for your cookies, your sweet words, and your holiday cheer. Wherever you are, may your holiday be full of love, warmth, and beauty.
This page is Part 2, but don't forget about Part 1 here.
Santa (with the help of Random.org) is now ready to announce the winner of Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 2.
Ames will receive a copy of Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu of the delicious blog Dessert First.
Simona shares Italian offelle di marmellata, a sweet short cut pastry that is filled with your favorite sticky sweet marmalade and baked until lightly golden.
Santa's going to stay a little longer at Heather's house on Christmas Eve when he tastes her Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies.
Kate's kids can't keep their hands off of her Sticky Toffee Cookies. Neither could you!
Erin shows that chocolate and ginger are best of friends in these Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies.
Emily shares Zaletti, a polenta-based Italian cookie laced with lemon and studded with currants.
Paula shares her all time favorite cookie: sweet, crisp Snickerdoodles.
Just looking at Maggie's snow topped Winter Mint Cookies make me long for snow.
Lauren proves that Simply Nourishing Gingerbread Cookies can be gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb and still taste great.
If you've ever had trouble baking cut-out cookies, then try these Easier Frosted Cutout Cookies.
Not only are Suzana's Chocolate and Ginger Cookies enticingly fragrant and chewy, but they're also a breeze to make.
Diva and her sister spent some fun together time baking and decorating these beautiful
Iced Christmas Cookies.
Marzipan Almond Kipferl, are wonderfully light and nutty cookies made from marzipan paste, almond oil, and sliced almonds.
For her husband's birthday, Nithya made a batch of these lovely Butter Cookies, just like her mother used to make in
Judy makes her Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies because they're simple, festive, and oh-so-good.
Your home will be filled with the enticing aromas of sugar and spice when you bake Jaime's Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies.
When it comes to beloved American cookies, it's hard to beat Peanut Butter Criss-Crosses.
Manju shares her beloved Gram's Ginger Molasses Cookies. These are always a favorite in Manju's house and will soon become one in yours as well.
Shaheen found herself with 10 grams of lavender and wanted to make something truly special with it. She succeeded beautifully with her Lavender Shortbread.
Daphne bakes basic sugar Christmas Cookies, then sandwiches them between layers of gooey caramel or zingy peppermint filling.
For a big, bumpy, chocolaty treat, you just have to make Daphne's Dark Chocolate Turkish Delight Roasted Macadamia Rocky Road.
For an addictive crunchy-on -the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside spice cookie, you have got to try Rachel's Cinnamon Sugar Cookies.
With all of the baking going on in Susan's kitchen lately, she wanted a subtly sweet cookie that would pair well with a hot espresso. She found it in these Lenox Lemon Biscotti.
Be sure to have a tall glass of cold milk ready when you eat Susan's Double Chocoalte Cookies.
Leah shares one of my personal favorites: Italian Pignoli Cookies. These dense, chewy cookies are made with rich almond paste and rolled in crunchy pine nuts for an unforgettable treat.
Triple Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies are made with semi-sweet, milk, and white chocolate chips for triple the deliciousness.
Like the name implies, these Lemon Melt-Aways are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
These Zebra Cookies are so good that Bunny assures you, "they're the last peanut butter cookie recipe you'll ever try."
Get the flavor of pie without all the work with these Pecan Pie Cookies.
Forget Andes candies after dinner, and try these After Dinner Mint Cookies instead.
Peter shares a signature Greek holiday cookie called kourabiethes (pronounced koo-ra-bee-e-thes). These sweet confections are as pretty as freshly fallen snow.
Every year Ames makes her Grandpa George his favorite Slovakian cookies, Apricot Kolacky. Of course, these soft cookies filled with sweet and tangy apricot filling are so scrumptious, that Ames always keeps a few for herself.
Baking Diamond Cuts, Indian fried cookies that are laced with cardamom and soaked in a sweet syrup, never fails to elicit sweet memories for Shn.
Ronelle wants to keep things simple yet flavorful this Christmas. Looks like she has done just that with her Date and Coconut Squares.
Don't these Tiffany Snowflake Sugar Cookies have you dreaming of a white Christmas?
Lorraine says of her Rainbow Cookies: "These are my all time favorite cookies!"
- 7 ounces marzipan paste or almond paste
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 drops green food coloring, or to desired color
- 5 drops red food coloring, or to desired color
- 12-oz jar raspberry jam (preferably seedless)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Cristina shares Islere, a traditional Romanian holiday cookie. A rich espresso creme filling is sandwiched between two buttery walnut cookies and then dipped in chocolate.
Inspired by baking with tea, TS and JS created a unique thumbprint cookie: Chocolate Thumbprints with Earl Grey-White Chocolate Ganache.
While baking his great Tante Kremer's Walnut Egg Whites Kisses, a cherised family favorite, TW also baked some delicious nostalgia.
It was 1980 when Maggie had her first taste of Chewy Molasses Cookies. 28 years later, she is still smitten.
Erica made her dad quite happy by baking him a batch of these lovely Chocolate Almond Biscotti for his birthday. Looks like he'll be wanting some more for Christmas.
Give someone special a big kiss this Christmas, or several, by baking a batch of Patsy's charming Cinnamon Chocolate Kiss Cookies.
Why are Michelle's cookies called Toothdigger Seed Cookies? Because they're chock-full of crunchy seeds such as sesame and poppy.
Santa's in for a real treat when he stops at Lynne's house on Christmas Eve, where he'll find a a tall glass of milk and a plate of tri-colored Neopolitan Cookies.
Don't Pip's Gingerbread Men just make you smile?
Running out of time to make cookies? Then try Jerri's no-fuss Cake Mix Cookies.
Schoolchildren just adore classic Gingerbread Men cookies.
Lien's shares Fig Cookies that are addictive whether they're soft and chewy or firm and crunchy. You decide how you want yours.
You can't tell by looking at these Choco-Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies, but they're low in iodine. Why? Because Rita wanted to share them with a fried who is undergoing chemotherapy. Now that's a cookie made with love.
These Dreena Inspired Drop Cookies are the last batch of a gazillion batches of Christmas cookies that Sarah has baked this year. And each one is delicious.
Nurnberger Lebkuchen is a special Christmas time cookie from Bavaria, Germany. According to PG, "it is now a protected name and can only be used for Lebkuchen actually originating from there, when sold." Hey, people can get pretty protective of their cookies.
Laurie's Italian Filled Cookies are an enticing mixture of dried fruits, chocolate, and rum all tucked inside of a light sweet dough.
What makes these Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies "black and white"? Crushed Oreos on the inside!
She thought she was finally done baking, then Food Hunter found herself whipping up a batch of sticky, crunchy Mixed Nut Brittle.
Just when I though Snickerdoodles could not be improved upon, I found Patricia's Orange Snickerdoodles.
While it was cold, grey, and rainy outside, Dwiana stayed warm inside by baking a batch of these sunshiny Nastar (Pineapple) Cookies.
Tantalizing truffles? That's what Helen's shares with her Lavender and Espresso Truffles.
Want a terrifically spicy, sweet, and crunchy cookie? Then make Tracy's Ginger Crinkle Cookies.
For a holiday twist on a classic Italian cookie, try Barbara's chocolate dipped Hazelnut Orange Biscotti.
Enliven your Christmas cheese tray with Deeba's singular Herb Cream Cheese Crackers with Buckwheat, Oatmeal and Za'atar.
Though she lives in Italy, the land of biscotti and cannoli, Michelle just has to have her good ol' fashioned American Chocolate Chip Cookies at Christmas time.
Savor the flavors of Italy at Christmas with Linda's deliciously rustic Panforte Senese, a rich, chewy nougat-like confection.
For a tantalizing buttery and crumbly cookie, try Elle's Sablès Au Citron.
Hopie still uses the Traditional Christmas Shortbread recipe that she loved as a child. Why change something that's already perfect?
Navita calls these Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies "ooey, gooey, and chewy." That's all you need to know.
If moist banana bread could marry deep, chocolate brownies, then they would become Banana Brownies.
Navita's husband couldn't get enough of her straight-from -the-oven Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Ivy just made a new friend in her kitchen: fresh ginger. And they're getting along well from the looks of these dark and spicy Bitter Chocolate Ginger Cookies.
If you can't make it to Sicily this Christmas, then bake some Cucidati (Italian Fig Cookies). You may still be home, but you'll definitely be experiencing the flavors of Italy.
Rosie loves these Chocolate Snowcaps because they're fun to make, just on the fancy side, and sure to make any dieter fall off the diet wagon.
Looking for a unique shortbread to make this year? Look no further than TS and JS's softly green tinged Macha Shortbread made with macha, Japanese green tea powder.
Food Hunter gave her traditional rum balls a new, happier look by rolling them in some crunchy chocolate sprinkles. They now have a happier name too: Rum Balls with Chocolate Sprinkles.
Vera is going to make Santa very happy this year with a plate of her delicious Magdini Paprenjaci.