Sunday, March 26, 2017

In Praise of Pomegranate Molasses

Today I want to take a moment to highlight one my favorite new--or at least new to me--ingredients: pomegranate molasses.

I'd seen it in Middle Eastern bodegas throughout my neighborhood for some time, but I got newly intrigued when a friend from work said she was buying a bottle to make an Israeli couscous dish. Then someone at a shabbat dinner told me she likes to drizzle some in her orange juice or use it as a dipping sauce for grape leaves.  and I started salivating.

So I picked up a bottle for $2.99 and found it reminded me a lot of a balsamic vinegar glaze--slightly thick and tangy.  The orange juice mix was a bit of a bust for me, but the pomegranate molasses turned out to be a great addition to hummus.  Later in the week I made a batch of stuffed grape leaves, and the woman at shabbat was right: that was the magic combination.  The slight tartness and sweetness of the pomegranate really complemented the spices in the grape leaves.  I also started to take a little bit to work in a pill bottle and poured some over various salads.

It's a bit messy to store and keep, as it drips everywhere and leaves a ring on my counter top--but it's a yummy ring!  Definitely a win!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Power to the Polenta

Hello veggies!

Welcome back from a bit of an absence.  I've been mostly living on Instagram the last few years--to see what I have been cooking and posting there, you can follow me @theprodigalvegan.

Also--new name!  I'm now The Prodigal Vegan, which will tie in with a solo show I am developing for next month at La MaMa in New York as part of their Poetry Electric Series.

But more on the solo show later.  Today I want to talk about polenta.  Because I am kind of obsessed with polenta right now.

For those who aren't familiar, polenta is a cornmeal-based dish that can either be made firm like a cake or more liquid-like for a kind of porridge.  For years I used to buy the pre-made stuff at Trader Joe's that comes shaped like a sausage, until I realized how easy and delicious it is to make from scratch.

Since I've gone full-on vegan at home this year, creamy polenta has been a great savory breakfast solution for those days when I really miss stuff like middle-eastern shakshuka.  I made some yesterday with some leftover veggies and soy chorizo I happened to have on hand and the results were pretty stellar.