A few weeks back the people of POMWonderful contacted me asking if I wanted to try their 100% pomegranate juice. I had never tried pomegranate juice (or pomegranates!) so I was very excited and knew I wanted to try it in a couple recipes. But then something horrible happened. I went to my fridge one day and realized that I had drank the entire box of juice! Apparently it’s just that good. So, I went to Target and bought more:

I don’t know why I had this recipe in my bookmarks because, for one, I’ve never tried butter chicken and two, it’s just a strange looking recipe with all the spices and pomegranate juice and tomatoes. It just doesn’t sound good to me. But yeah, I have been holding onto it and POM gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

It ended up being delicious. My husband, who I figured would end up eating pizza rolls once he saw it, loved it and said that it’s definitely a keeper. The pomegranate flavor was not super obvious but it was definitely there.

My only complaint is the chicken thighs which from what I’ve read is traditional in this dish. I don’t like them so I’d use breasts next time. No complaints at all from my husband or my toddler (yes, he ate it too!).

Pomegranate Butter Chicken

from Food Network

Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup minced ginger
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons pomegranate
2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In large saute pan, over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic and ginger and slowly cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder, turmeric, Garam Masala and pomegranate juice. Let cool slightly. Rub chicken well with mixture and bake in a shallow baking pan for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and shred.
  2. Meanwhile to make butter sauce: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onions, ginger and garlic until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and continue sauteing until tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 5 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return puree back to pan and add cream and butter. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Serve with basmati rice, if desired.
http://fakeginger.com/pom-butter-chicken/
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Moving right along on the BBA challenge! This time it’s English muffins.

I tried my hand at English muffins once before and was not thrilled with the results. They ended up burnt and without all the lovely holes that English muffins are supposed to have. These turned out so much better. They are still a little dense for English muffins but that’s probably because I got tired of waiting for them to rise. My kitchen was so cold that it was literally taking all day!

But yes, delicious and much simpler than you would expect! Visit the BBA page to see what the other baker’s have been up to and then go buy Peter Reinhart’s book so you can give the recipe a try yourself!

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Recently MyBlogSpark sent me this awesome package of Progresso items, featuring their new panko bread crumbs. I had never tried panko before so I was super excited to participate in this.

I immediately knew I wanted to try my hand at arancini (which is fried rice balls) and ironically enough, a few days later I got Progresso’s Soups & More magazine in the mail (also part of the Progresso package from MyBlogSpark) and it had a recipe for arancini in it! I adapted it to our tastes/what I had on hand and it turned out fabulous. The panko is a totally different texture than regular bread crumbs, more flaky than crumby. It fried up wonderfully and the crispness of the panko was delicious with the creamy risotto center.

Arancini

from Progresso: Soups and More

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Progresso reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton), heated Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Progresso panko crispy bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In 3-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in rice and wine; cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup broth; cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed. Add remaining 1 cup broth; cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed.
  2. Season with pepper. Stir in butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Spread onto cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm. (Mixture can be refrigerated overnight.)
  3. On cookie sheet, shape rice mixture into 12×8-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows to make 24 squares. Shape rice into balls.
  4. Place flour and bread crumbs in separate bowls. In another bowl, beat egg and water until blended. Coat each ball with flour, then dip into egg mixture and coat with bread crumbs. Place coated balls on unlined cookie sheet; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Line platter or shallow pan with paper towels. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat about 2 inches vegetable oil to 350F. Fry 8 balls at a time 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. With slotted spoon, remove balls from Dutch oven to towel-lined platter to drain. Serve hot.
http://fakeginger.com/arancini-a-contest/

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I made a beef and barley soup last winter and we really enjoyed it but then for some reason I never thought about it again. I stumbled upon a recipe recently and decided I would make another one as soon as it got cold. This time I filled it with veggies and it was absolutely delicious. It’s not often that I look forward to leftovers but I had this stew for lunch for 3 days!

I served it with the honey yeast rolls and they were perfect together. My husband opened up the rolls and put a little stew in the middle.. said it was amazing!

Beef & Barley Stew

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds chuck steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups baby carrots
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups water
2 cups broth (chicken, beef, or veggie. whatever you have.)
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups frozen green beans, thawed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
3/4 cup medium pearl barley

Instructions

  1. Place chuck steak, onion, carrots, and potatoes in 5 quart slow cooker. Add water, broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Add beans, corn, and barley. Cover and cook on low for 2 more hours or until barely and veggies are tender.
http://fakeginger.com/beef-barley-stew/


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I grew up putting sugar in grits. Yeah, it’s true. I’m a southerner who puts sugar in grits. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I learned this was weird. On the way up to Montgomery for a Super Chevy show with my dad and one of his friends, we stopped at Waffle House for breakfast and my dad’s friend put salt in his grits. I was disgusted. Why would you do that?! The next few days, I told everyone I knew about this weirdo and his salty grits and slowly began to realize that I was the weird one.

I’ve learned to appreciate (and even enjoy) real grits especially when they have cheese in them so I was super excited to find a recipe for cheesy grits bread. It turned out delicious too. To me, the grits texture was very obvious but I didn’t tell my husband (because he doesn’t like grits) and he didn’t seem to notice.

We ended up toasting most of the loaf and rubbing the pieces with fresh garlic. It was perfect with spaghetti.

Cheesy Grits Bread

adapted from Southern Living Cookbook

Ingredients

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons quick cooking grits
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour

Instructions

  1. Bring milk to a boil over medium heat; stir in grits and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Let stand 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add grits mixture beating until well blended.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Dough will be slightly sticky. Shape into a ball and place into a well-greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Punch dough down and shape into a loaf. Place in lightly greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden. Let bread cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing.
http://fakeginger.com/cheesy-grits-bread/
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