With Rosh Hashanah starting this weekend and the Jewish New Year around the corner, culinary anthropologist and food blogger Tori Avey, also known as The Shiksa in the Kitchen, has some fresh takes on traditional Jewish cuisine. She shares how to make Pomegranate Molasses, Pomegranate Glazed Salmon, Honey Apple Cupcakes and Rosh Hashanah Sangria.
For Tori's blogs, please follow www.theshiksa.com and www.thehistorykitchen.com
4 cups pure 100% pomegranate juice (bottled or fresh)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Total Time: 65 - 85 minutes
Servings: About 1 cup of pomegranate molasses
Pour pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Heat up over medium until the sauce begins to simmer lightly. Stir to dissolve sugar. Allow the liquid to simmer very lightly for 60-80 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, till the liquid reduces by 75% to about 1 cup of molasses. Skim any foam or scum that rises to the top of the liquid. The molasses is ready when it has a light syrupy consistency and coats the back of a spoon. Don't let it thicken too much, or it will harden when it cools. Remove from heat. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools. If you're unsure about the consistency, measure the reduced liquid-- it should be reduced to about 1 to 1 ¼ cups of syrup. If there is more liquid than that, continue reducing. After the syrup cools completely, store it in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
POMEGRANATE GLAZED SALMON
4 boneless salmon fillets, skin on
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (I highly recommend my recipe for pomegranate molasses - click here for the recipe)
Nonstick cooking oil spray
Fresh pomegranate seeds and mint for garnish (optional)
You will also need:
Large nonstick oven safe skillet, or any nonstick skillet and a baking sheet
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F. Rinse the fish fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, salt, and corn or potato starch. Rub the flesh side of the fillets evenly with the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle the fillets lightly with black pepper.
Spray nonstick skillet generously with cooking oil and heat on medium high till very hot. Place the fillets skin side up, flesh side down into the skillet and allow to sear for 1-2 minutes till a dark crust forms. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan-- this will make the fillets difficult to turn. If you need to, work in batches.
When a dark crust has formed (you want it black and crispy in places), use a pair of tongs to gently turn the salmon and let the skin side sear for another minute.
Remove skillet from heat. At this point, you can transfer the fillets onto a lightly greased baking sheet. If your skillet is oven safe - no plastic handle, heat resistant - you can finish the fillets directly in the pan. Brush each fillet with 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses.
Transfer fillets to the preheated oven and let them cook for 8-12 minutes longer, till internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F or until desired doneness. Serve fillets fresh from the oven garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds and fresh mint, if desired.
Note: If you are cooking a lot of salmon for several guests, sear your salmon fillets in batches in the skillet, then transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet for finishing in the oven.
HONEY APPLE CUPCAKES
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose baking flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
Dash of ground cloves
4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and shredded
You will also need:
Cupcake tin, cupcake papers, sifter, wire cooling rack, additional honey for drizzling, dried apple slices, printables (instructions follow recipe)
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Whisk in the honey, white sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla. In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and spices. Incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, stir to blend. Fold in the shredded apples.
Line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers. Fill each paper about ¾ full with batter. Bake cupcakes for about 25-30 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This will make about 24 cupcakes. Buy dried apple rings, honey and toothpicks to decorate the tops of the cupcakes.
Rosh Hashanah Printable
Print 4 copies of this sheet in color; this will make more than enough double-sided printables for 24 cupcakes.
ROSH HASHANAH SANGRIA
1/2 cup honey
1 apple, cored and sliced thin
12 oz. seedless grapes
1 bottle red wine (syrah/shiraz works well)
2 cups pure 100% pomegranate juice
1 cup grape juice
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup triple sec
You will also need:
2.2 liter pitcher (or larger), heavy wine glasses
Pour honey and ½ cup water into a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, till the honey is completely dissolved into the water. Do not boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This is your honey simple syrup. Meanwhile, seed the pomegranate. Discard the rind and pith. For instructions, click here. Place the pomegranate seeds into the bottom of your pitcher. Place the apple slices on top of the seeds and the grapes on top of the apple slices. Pour the entire bottle of red wine into the pitcher. Add the pomegranate juice, grape juice, brandy, triple sec, and honey simple syrup to the pitcher. Stir gently with a long handled spoon to blend all the flavors together. Place pitcher into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to blend. Stir again before serving.