My Creations, Places I like

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spinach Salad W/ Goat Cheese, Pomegranate Infused Cranberries, Walnuts And Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:                                         
  • 3 Tbsp pomegranate juice                      
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar                       
  • 1 Tbsp honey                                      
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced shallot                   
  • 1/4 C olive oil (not extra virgin)           
  • salt & pepper to taste                          
      In a medium bowl, whisk together the juice, vinegar, honey and shallot. Once combined, gently pour in the olive oil in a slow steady stream whisking as you go. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate while you construct the salad.

  •   fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Pomegranate juice infused dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp goat cheese, crumbled  
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1 pear cored, and thinly sliced
      In a large bowl add the spinach, cranberries (regular dried cranberries or other dried fruit works well here if you aren't fortunate enough to find pomegranate infused cranberries), goat cheese, walnuts, and a few pear slices. Toss the components w/ small amounts of the pomegranate vinaigrette until your desired level of coating is reached ( I use just enough to coat the spinach lightly...its a salad, not a soup). Transfer the salad to a small bowl or plate for serving. This makes a salad for one so if you are looking to share w/ others just double or triple the ingredients as you see fit.

 Grilled Shrimp and Starfruit Skewers w/ Spicy Balsamic Glaze:
  •  10-15 wooden skewers
  • 1 to 1.5 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 2-3 starfruit, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch thick "stars"
  • 1/4 C balsamic glaze 
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • salt & pepper
      Begin by soaking the wooden skewers in cold water for 30-40 minutes. I usually fill a baking dish with cold water, and place the skewers on the bottom with a soup can or something to hold them down. Since the skewers need plenty of time to soak (what you want your wooden skewers to catch fire?) this would be an ideal time to peel and devein your shrimp! Most places you can ask to have the shrimp peeled and deveined for you; so if this is more your speed then you now have 30-40 minutes to read more of my blog (I'll be quizzing you). If you need to do the peeling and deveining yourself and don't know how, than your just going to have to look that up because I am too busy to go through the step-by-step process at the moment (DO YOU WANT MORE POSTS OR NOT!?!).
      Once the skewers have thoroughly soaked, begin assembly by skewering a shrimp followed by a starfruit, and repeat that step two more times. There, you now have one skewer..rejoice! Keep assembling your skewers until all the shrimp and starfruit is used up and lightly season each side with salt and pepper. Heat up the grill to med-high and place the skewers on the grill with some of the wooden skewer hanging off the edge so you do not burn yourself when flipping.The skewers will cook quickly, about 2-3 minutes each side or until the shrimp is pinkish-orange on both sides. Take the skewers off the grill and set aside to cool slightly.
      While shrimp cools, quickly add the balsamic glaze (you can make your own balsamic glaze from scratch, I just happened to have some laying around), mustard, and red pepper flakes to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Baste the glaze onto the shrimp skewers as liberally as you would like...go wild. Serve immediately.