Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Near the corner of N. McClurg and E. Illinois St. in Chicago.

Bonnie H.
(Taken with old camera.  New camera has been shipped.)

How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend ~ Recipe Included

Labor Day Weekend--a three day, late summer holiday.  A holiday held most especially dear by laborers such as plumbers.  So it was with a heavy heart (and anticipation of a light(er) wallet) that I watched our kitchen sink labor to empty itself and then completely give up the effort late Friday evening.  Surely it would drain by Saturday morning and we'd manage to successfully deal with the clog.  No, it was still filled with water as the sun rose.  Andrew said we'd manage and call a plumber on Tuesday.  What?!!  He envisioned schlepping anything that needed water, washing and emptying to the basement for the long, long (and getting longer) weekend.  To make this long, annoying, costly story shorter, I'll cut to the chase and say we called the plumber.  He came.  He unclogged.  He left the bill.  We got on with the weekend.

The weather was ideal.  A little rain.  A lot of sunshine.  Mid-70s.

We invited friends over for hamburgers on the grill (grass fed beef from Whole Foods) accompanied by a  platter of heirloom tomatoes, sliced Vidalia onions and romaine lettuce and oven "fries" of sweet and Idaho potatoes.  Stefan did the potatoes and tended the grill.  Andrew made dessert.  I made the appetizer and we enjoyed being able to leisurely visit with our guests on the porch and nibble on this--my contribution:

(A variation on an Elle Krieger recipe)

4 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses or
3/4 cup pomegranate juice reduced 
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste

If using the pomegranate juice, which I did, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until it is reduced to about three tablespoons.  This takes about eight minutes.  Cool.  It will be thick.

Lightly toast the walnuts in a 325 degree oven for two to three minutes.  Cool.

Place the walnuts and bread crumbs into the food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, red peppers and seasonings and process until smooth.  With the processor on, add the olive oil.  Season with salt to taste.  

Serve with chips of your choice.  We like the corn chip "scoopers" or pita crisps.

This can be made a day ahead.  It doesn't separate but may be a slightly  juicy around the sides.  Just stir and it's fine.