[POM] Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Norwegian…

With the Vancouver Olympics just days away, I have finally come to terms with the fact that most of my friends could care less about the Winter Olympics and I know why:  they’re jealous of Norwegians.  It is the only reason I can logically justify, as who in his right mind doesn’t enjoy sitting for hours on end watching perfectly healthy Scandinavians throwing themselves off perilously steep slopes, blindly speeding feet first down mile long tubes of ice or chasing after pucks with brooms all the while winning record-breaking numbers of medals?  It’s heaven!

Look, I can’t make excuses for my ancestral predisposition to being able to simultaneously snowshoe, shoot, drink coffee, play the Hardanger fiddle and make lefse.  While my boyfriend was breaking 3-point records, I was carefully studying the speed variances between wooden and fiberglass Telemark skis.  While he was installing a hoop on his parents’ garage, I was building a luge in the backyard.  While he was blowing up shopping carts with illegal fireworks in abandoned parking lots near the Mayor’s house, I was…well, blowing up things with my dad using homemade explosives in plain sight of the Aurora Police Department while my mom was prepping tourniquets and burn cream in the house.  We Scandinavians DO like to blow things up.

As I fully plan to gorge myself on Winter Olympic events this month, I thought I would trick some of my less genetically-fortunate friends into cheering alongside me with the lure of a new snack.  I believe that Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard with Herbed Pomegranate, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Grissini might just do the trick.  Caramelizing onions and then deglazing them with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice (shill.i.am, but I drink this stuff like it’s going out of style — which, of course, it never will) is one of my new favorite pastimes, resulting in the onions not always making it into the recipe without a few pit stops from the pan to my mouth.  The sweetness pairs well with the goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh thyme and the crunchiness of the grissini.  While my friends are busy dredging grissini through the zesty Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard, they just might be distracted enough to not notice that I will be secretly rooting for Team U.S.A.  Enjoy!

Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard with Herbed Pomegranate, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Grissini

Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder

1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns

3/4 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

3 tablespoons raspberry red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons local honey

1/2 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate arils, plus additional for garnish (optional)

In a blender, process the mustard seeds, salt and mustard powder for about 45 seconds.  Take the lid off your blender and take a look.  You’re looking for a mixture to look like irregular, coarsely ground coffee.  If the mixture isn’t there yet, return the lid and pulse the mixture until the right consistency.

Add the peppercorns, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, raspberry red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey and 1/2 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate arils and process for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping and stirring occasionally with a flexible spatula.

Transfer the mustard to a serving bowl, cover and chill overnight.  The mustard is a little wild when eaten straight away (though that didn’t stop me!), but the wildness will mellow and the flavors meld with a nice overnight nap.  When ready to serve, bring the mustard to room temperature (about 15 minutes) and garnish with the reserved arils, if you wish.

The mustard will keep up to 2 weeks refrigerated and indefinitely if frozen.  Leftover mustard would love to be considered for a role in your vinaigrette, on a roast chicken, a glaze on grilled fish or root vegetables or in a grilled smoked Gouda sandwich.

Herbed Pomegranate, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Grissini

Makes approximately 36 grissini

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, divided

3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons nonfat dehydrated milk

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium red onion, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

4 ounce log chevre, crumbled

2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 large egg

3 tablespoons white, black or mixed sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and 1 cup water and stir.  Let the yeast rest until it has bloomed and become fragrant, about 5 minutes.

In the meanwhile, mix together a 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour and dehydrated milk in a separate bowl until combined.  Add the flour mixture and 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the yeast mixture and knead (by hand or stand mixer) until smooth and soft.  Roll the dough into a ball and return it to the mixing bowl.  Cover the bowl with a towel, set aside and allow it to take a 1 hour nap.


While the dough is resting, add 1 teaspoon olive oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and heat until shimmering.  Add the onions and the reserved 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have released their liquids and begun to caramelize, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Carefully add the POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice to the pan to deglaze any dark oniony bits.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pomegranate juice has thickened and reduced.

Transfer the onion mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.

When the dough has rested and the onions have cooled, add the onions to the dough along with the chopped thyme, crumbled chevre and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Using your hands, knead the onions, herb and cheese into the grissini dough until well incorporated.  Roll the dough into a ball and return it to the mixing bowl.

Spread the  remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil onto a clean working surface or cutting board.  Retrieve your dough ball and place it onto the prepared surface, then flip the dough ball over so that both sides have a light coating of oil on them.  Roll the dough out to an approximately 12 x 18-inch rectangle.  These are “rustic”, so don’t go out of your mind trying to get the dough to those exact dimensions (they will taste just as good shorter or longer).  With a sharp paring knife, trim the edges so that you are working with a clean rectangle.

In a small bowl, beat together the reserved 1 tablespoon water and the egg.  Brush the rectangle with the egg wash and follow with a sprinkling of the sesame seeds.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the grissini into approximately 1/4-inch strips.

Set aside two large, flat parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheets.  If you want twisted grissini, working with one grissini at a time, carefully lift and twist the ends into opposite directions and place upon your baking sheet.  Repeat, leaving 1/4-inch space between each grissini.  If you prefer flat grissini, transfer the grissini one at a time onto the baking sheet, again leaving 1/4-inch space between each.

Transfer the baking sheets to your preheated oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until deep golden brown, keeping an eye on them during the last few minutes, as they can go from charming to charred pretty quickly at that stage.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and set aside to allow the grissini to cool before handling (they will be fragile and temperamental at first, but will become far more sturdy and self-confident after a little cooling off time).  To serve, transfer the grissini to a serving platter or vertically into a tall glass or vase or wrap servings in parchment paper.  Serve with the Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard for dipping and enjoy!

The grissini keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container or indefinitely frozen.

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1 Comment»

[…] … As I fully plan to gorge myself on Winter Olympic events this month, I thought I would trick some of my less genetically-fortunate friends into cheering alongside me with the lure of a new snack.  I believe that Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard with Herbed Pomegranate, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Grissini might just do the trick.  Caramelizing onions and then deglazing them with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice is one of my new favorite pastimes, resulting in the onions not always making it into the recipe without a few pit stops from the pan to my mouth.  The sweetness pairs well with the goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh thyme and the crunchiness of the grissini.  While my friends are busy dredging grissini through the zesty Homemade Pomegranate Honey Mustard, they just might be distracted enough to not notice that I will be secretly rooting for Team U.S.A.  Enjoy! Read full post on Foffeeintheafternoon.com […]


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