I saw this on The Bitten Word's blog (looove them) before I even picked up my November 2010 Everyday Food Magazine. I've never been a fan of Cranberry Relish or Sauce but the idea of putting some pomegranates which I love, into the mix sounded intriguing. So I decided to give it a try.
Loved it. No offense to those that make their own cranberry relish or the canned stuff, but I'd eat this Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish any time. I absolutely loved the little tart taste it had and found it blended beautifully with our Thanksgiving turkey. Like The Bitten Word gents, I think this may make an appearance sometime other than the holidays.
Now, before you go running and screaming from making this dish because it contains pomegranate seeds and you refuse to destroy your kitchen/floors/clothes by trying to de-seed a pomegranate and getting that red juice all over everything, I came across a non running and screaming way to get those seeds out. I've tried seeding pomegranates before by working with them under water but there were a few steps missing in my procedure which really helped. First, cut the crown end of the pomegranate off. Then score the sides several times (like you would an orange) down to the seeds. Place the pomegranate cut side down into a big bowl of water. Let set for 5 minutes for the pomegranate to soak up the water. Then, keeping the pomegranate under the water, peel apart and start to "rub out" the seeds. The seeds will drop to the bottom and those pesky membranes will float to the top. Pour the water and membranes off and, behold! Pomegranate seeds! So stinking easy. You never have to deal with that pesky juice getting on anything. You can find a video of what I'm talking about here from the wonderful folks at Fine Cooking. Seriously. Try this method!
(from Everyday Food November 2010)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallots; cook, stirring constantly, until softened, 3 minutes. Add cranberries, pomegranate juice and brown sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and sauce is slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pomegranate seeds (if using). Let cool to room temperature before serving. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 week. Use any leftovers as a sandwich spread or stirred into yogurt as a dip).
Note: I used a fresh bag of cranberries. I used POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
Note: I did throw in the pomegranate seeds.
Note: It took almost 15 minutes for the sauce to thicken and for the cranberries to burst to my liking. We have a gas stove so amount of heat might have been the issue.
We had three different types of cranberry relish at the Thanksgiving table which was perfect because each one of us have different taste buds. The relish on the left had a beautiful, bright, mandarin citrus flavor, the one in the middle was my tart pomegranate version and the one on the right was the more traditional cranberry version. I snuck this photo before we plated everything. Gotta love Thanksgiving and all the options!