We've been really involved with work this last week so I've been back to basics at lunchtime. I'm looking for what's fresh at the market, and what's in season and can be cooked with a minimum of effort. Since I'm planning a major Pongal feast for this weekend, I'm also doing prep cooking every evening so that things go smoothly on Saturday night.
Once again I found fresh little game hens at the market of course little birds are my crack and I just had to have one. Butternut squash was on sale, I steamed and mashed it with a bit of butter cardamom and cinnamon, added some fresh spinach and bingo, lunch.
Staring at the little bird however I thought I can't just serve that. It's boring. Who wants boring on a workday? Not me. I started checking out the fridge to see what I could put together to make things a bit more...interesting. I spotted a bottle of POMwonderful pomegranate juice, some of my homemade pomegranate molasses. I knew what to do. I'd make a pomegranate raisin sauce for the spice rubbed bird.
I halved the game hen, removed the backbone and rubbed them with my quail rub which is 1/2 tsp of allspice mixed with 1/2 tsp of kashmiri chili and 1/2 tsp of salt.
I rubbed the bird halves with this rub and drizzled them with a bit of olive oil. They were ready for the grill.
Meanwhile the sauce:
Pomegranate Walnut Sauce
In a small pan melt 1 Tbs of unsalted butter. When the butter is hot and foamy add in 1 finely chopped shallot.
1/2 cup of pomegranate juice.
When it;s reduced slightly add in:
3 Tbs of pomegranate molasses
a pinch of salt
a pinch of ginger
a pinch of cardamom
I like to taste and play with the spices, there are no hard and fast rules here. See what you can come up with, perhaps a bit of orange zest...whatever pleases you.
Let the sauce cook down a bit more then add a pinch of arrowroot to thicken it a bit. Finally, stir in a handful of raisins and simmer them lightly for another 5 minutes or so. The sauce is done.
Drizzle it over the game hen half and you are in business. No more dull little birds.
Of course Patsy the Siberian Husky had her own delicious lunch and then came around for her favorite after lunch entertainment "Watching Alpha Eat Ice Cream".
Tomorrow is my big Foodbuzz 24 x 24 Dinner. It's a complete vegetarian Pongal Feast, so I'm off to Sonoma's Friday Morning Organic Farmers Market. Stay tuned.