I hope everyone had a great week! I had a sweet surprise this week. My husband was craving sweets all week (I’m rubbing off on him!). Tuesday night he proclaimed that we were going to Jack in the Box for milkshakes. It was around 8pm, and we were basically in our pajamas. Life is so good!! If you haven’t had a Jack in the Box milkshake, I feel very sorry for you. They are so thick that you have to remove the straw and lick it because the goodness of the shake just won’t flow through the straw. We always get chocolate. “Jack” tops the shake with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. And it’s super cheap! And you can take it home and sit on the sofa with your family in your pjs will attempting to slurp the cup o’ ice cream and milk down while watching another episode of Law & Order!
In keeping with my new Friday “tradition”, I want to tell you about my favorite thing (other than a milkshake) this week: Pomegranate Molasses. It can be a little tricky to find in the grocery store, but ask around and you’ll find it. If you have a Middle Eastern market near you, that’s a great place to look. I bought mine in San Diego at Specialty Produce (http://www.specialtyproduce.com/).
I love this product because you can use it on so many things. It has a very tart and tangy flavor, and it is thick (hence “molasses”) so it is a great saucy topper. You can drizzle it over sweet or savory dishes. You can take any grain, for example wheat berry, and some dark greens, like mustard greens or arugula, and drizzle the molasses over it. Or you can go sweet. The first time I used Pomegranate Molasses was about 8 years ago when I came across a recipe from Big City Cooking: Recipes for a Fast-Paced World by Matthew Kenney and Joan Schwartz. It is the most simple recipe, but you have to use the highest quality of ingredients. Hold onto this recipe until the peak of strawberry season. I promise people will rave! And, again, it couldn’t be easier! Don’t wait for strawberry season to buy it! Go out, find a bottle, and start using it. The next grain salad you make for dinner, pour a little over each serving. It will be a great addition to your pantry!
Strawberries with Pomegranate Molasses and Fresh Ricotta by Matthew Kenney Serves 4
1 quart ripe strawberries, stemmed and halved
2 tablespoons sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
(My addition: couple pinches of cinnamon. I love cinnamon and it’s so healthy, so I always try to add it to recipes.)
1 cup whole ricotta cheese (***Remember, do not use the commercial stuff. Go to a cheese purveyor and get the good stuff!!)
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, or substitute balsamic syrup (***But don’t! And I believe the amount is to taste. You may want a lot more!)
12 mint leaves
In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with sugar. Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon and a pinch of salt into the ricotta. Divide the strawberries among 4 bowls, top with the ricotta mixture, drizzle with pomegranate molasses, and garnish with mint leaves.
Have you used this product before? If so, tell me how!
Take Care and Happy Eating!