Pomegranate season runs from October to January, so the abundance of pomegranates is plentiful during this time of the year – so plentiful that the people at POM sent us two cases of fresh pomegranates and goody bags to host a dinner party for our friends. POM Wonderful is the largest grower of pomegranates in the United States with over 18,000 acres of pomegranates in Central California. Pomegranates are extremely healthy and high in antioxidants, vitamins C and K, potassium, iron, folate, and fiber! So as you can see, this fruit has gotten widely popular in the recent years.
We were happy to be selected to host a fabulous party with a delectable pomegranate-inspired menu that we created with ingredients we had at home. But to make things more interesting, we decided to have our friends come with an alcoholic drink recipe that incorporates pomegranate juice which they made and shared at the party. Basically, we’ll handle the food, they’ll handle the drinks! We were definitely surprised with their creative and tasty creations, not to mention the cute names they made up for their cocktails! To add to the fun, we had a little competition to see which couple can remove the most pomegranate arils in 3 minutes – and boy was the competition fierce and close! We will also show you how to open a pomegranate in 6 easy steps so you will no longer be intimidated to open this fruit! See the recap below of our wonderful POM party and hopefully you can get some great inspiring ideas for the upcoming holiday parties!
I took this photo on my camera phone when I received the shipment from POM. Each case had about 20-22 fresh pomegranates, which was absolutely nuts! We didn't need that many for the party, so we gave some away to family and friends. Thanks, POM!
Since I wanted to be festive, I prepped our dinner table with some pomegranate decor that is simple, elegant, and literally cost nothing! I took some fun-shaped glasses and filled them with some pomegranate arils. I also had some gold Christmas ribbon which I taped around the base for color. To top it off, these branches of red berries were picked from a bush near my office, HAHA! Remember, use your imagination with things you have around the house to decorate so you don't have to spend money!
Our guests started with a Cucumber Orange Salad on a bed of Napa Cabbage with an Orange-Pomegranate Vinaigrette. We sectioned an orange then squeezed the remaining juice for the vinaigrette. Then added a dash of pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil to complete the dressing. It's light and refreshing!
We prepared Bow Tie Pasta Salad with a Pomegranate-Poached Salmon topped with Crispy Salmon Skin. First, we took the skin off the salmon, then poached the salmon in pomegranate juice and then shredded it to add to the pasta. Then we took the salmon skin and pan fried it until it was crispy, which we used as the topping of the pasta salad. We also added fresh dill, bell peppers, and red onion. The dressing was a simple combination of apple cider vinegar, POM juice, honey, dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil.
The main course (my favorite) was Pork Ribs with Honey Pomegranate Glaze and Roasted Onions. We baked the 5 lb pork spare ribs in a 300-degree oven for about 3 hours. During that time, we took pomegranate juice along with some sugar, garlic, honey, and chili flakes and reduced it by half. Once it's thickened, we brushed it on the pork ribs at the end of the cooking time. It produced a succulent flavor that is both tangy and sweet and definitely finger-licking good.
For dessert, I made Frozen Pomegranate and Lychee Cups. It's simply preparing raspberry Jello gelatin per package instructions. But to that, I added pomegranate arils and chopped lychee. I poured them into my mini-muffin tin and froze it for about 30 minutes to produce a nice cold treat.
When you bite into it, you can see the lychee and pomegranates. It melts fast, so don't let it sit out too long!
Our guests came with all of their drink ingredients to prepare their fabulous pomegranate-inspired cocktails to share with everyone. Ashley and Aaron are busy with their pretty alcoholic concoction.
Aaron and Ashley's Pomegranate Sunset: 1 ounce orange juice, 1 ounce pineapple juice, 1 ounce Jack Daniels, 1/2 ounce pomegranate syrup (pomegranate juice and sugar), squeeze of lime, and a dash of Sprite. Let's not forget the mint leaves from our garden!
Our friends Sarah and Mark made a Royal Pom cocktail: 1.5 shot gin, 3 shots of pomegranate juice, squeeze of 1/4 lime, some pomegranate arils, and lots of ice! They even got some plumerias from our tree for their presentation!
Kathy and Tim created the Pom Paradise which consists of 1 oz Malibu Rum, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 oz Grenadine, and 1 oz Pomegranate Mango POM juice. Not to be outdone, they went to our front yard and tore off a leaf from our banana tree to style their tropical drinks.
We were definitely impressed with the fancy cocktails that our friends created! It was the perfect addition to our delicious dinner.
After we feasted and drank to our hearts' desires, it was time to start our competition! Three couples, three pomegranates, in three minutes! So who won?
After three minutes, we drained each team's bowl of pomegranate arils and weighed them to see who yielded the most seeds. The winning team literally won by only .1 ounce!
Congratulations Team Mark & Sarah! Enjoy your um... pomegranate apron from POM.
Pomegranates are actually very easy to open, as long as you do it right! Many times, people cut right through the fruit which results in red juice everywhere… and I mean everywhere! Not only that, but now you have some seeds that are cut in half, which isn’t so pretty. I’m sure many of you out there are intimidated by pomegranates, or just simply do not want to make such a mess opening up this fruit. Here is a 6-step process on how to open a pomegranate without splattering yourself in red juice.
1. Cut off the top of the pomegranate just below the crown.
2. Once the top has been removed, you will see 4-6 sections of the pomegranate divided by white membrane. With the knife's point, score the skin along each section.
3. Using both hands, carefully pull the pomegranate apart, breaking it into small sections and place it in a bowl of water. By doing this in the water, you will prevent red splashes all over the place.
4. Loosen the arils and allow them to drop freely into the bowl. The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top.
5. Use a spoon to scoop out the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the top of the water.
6. Pour the arils and remaining liquid through a strainer. And that's all there is to it! You will become a pro at opening a pomegranate efficiently in these 6 simple steps - without making a huge bloody mess!
As you can see, you can use pomegranates in savory or sweet foods, as well as cocktails! The brilliant ruby red arils will jazz up any dish, so get creative and whip up something inspiring! Thanks POM Wonderful, for sending us a ton of pomegranates and goodies to share with our family and friends! We had a great dinner party with recipes we created that we'll be doing again in the future!
Recipes and step-by-step photos to follow at a later time, but please email us if you would like any of the recipes on the dishes we prepared!
The Food Addicts would like to wish all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving! Eat well, drink up, and have fun! Cheers!