Finally… the much awaited POM Wonderful Dinner Party Recap! We had such a fabulous time hosting the party – our first dinner party in ages! As you may remember, I was selected as 1 of 100 people across the country to host a POM Wonderful Dinner Party and received a bunch of goods from POM Wonderful the week before the party, including 44 (!!!) pomegranates, a POM apron, cutting mat, and gift bags for the guests!
We held our party on Thursday, November 11th and I had a ton of fun decorating our apartment with pomegranate themed decor! I wanted to use pomegranates in three ways to decorate – whole pomegranates, just the seeds, and pomegranate sections.
At the entrance to our apartment, I set up a little pomegranate display on our foyer table.
I picked those candle holders up from Crate and Barrel and filled them with fresh pomegranate seeds and little tea candles, with a whole pomegranate between them. I bought four of these total, and used two in the foyer and two on the dinner table.
Next up, I made name tag holders out of sections of pomegranate, by cutting 3 pomegranates in quarters (for 12 sections total) and putting name tags on toothpicks right into the pomegranate sections.
I put the pomegranates slices outside overnight to dry them out a bit so it wasn’t messy, and they worked perfectly and looked awesome on the table!
For the table, we went with a black, white, and pomegranate theme.
Black table cloth, white plates, and pomegranate flair. For the centerpiece, I used a whole pomegranate as a candle holder, but cutting down a pillar candle and placing it directly into the top of the pomegranate!
I took a white platter, poured a bag of black beans on it as the foundation, and then used gourds around the pomegranate candle in the middle of the plate. It was so pretty with the contrast between the white plate, black beans, deep red pomegranate, and multicolored gourds.
To start off the evening, I made some Pom Kir Royals, with prosecco, pomegranate juice, and floating pomegranate seeds.
They were DELICIOUS!
Everyone cheersed (that should be a word) to start the night off and we thanked everyone for coming!
We had 8 friends for dinner plus Charlotte and Nora, so 10 adults and 2 kids.
The kids even got their own table…
Then we put out the appetizer.
Baked Camembert with homemade pomegranate balsamic jam, pomegranate seeds, and crackers (times two!). This was DELICIOUS and the pomegranate was a nice change from the apricot jelly this is normally made with. The cheese got all melty as was perfect with the fizzy pom drinks while we all settled down around my living room floor for me to do the How to Open a Pomegranate Demo![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iozPpD4K73c%5D
I opened this in front of my dinner party guests right on the floor in my apartment, and I have white carpet! While this might seem dangerous, if you open a pomegranate the right way, its really not messy at all! Some of the key points are:
- Place a paper towel on your cutting board to avoid juice getting everywhere when you slice just under an inch under the top of the pomegranate.
- Score the sides of the pomegranate where the white sections are – similar to how an orange is divided.
- Break off the sections directly into a bowl of water, and start separating the seeds from the pith. The pith will float at the top while the seeds sink to the bottom.
- If you have a garbage container/waste receptacle nearby while you are opening it, it makes it so much easier because you can just put the throw away parts directly into there rather than running back and forth to the garbage.
- Once you’ve separated all the seeds, use a spoon to scoop the floating pith out of the bowl.
- Drain the seeds from the water, and you are left with a beautiful bowl of pomegranate arils!
Luckily the kids were watching because I put them to work!
And even they opened the pomegranates with no mess!
After the demo, we moved onto the main event… the food! We asked everyone to bring Pinot Noir to drink with dinner, since pinot goes great with pomegranate and with almost anything. Everyone loved the nametags!
And so we made our way over to the table.
And cheersed (again)
And then it was time to digg into our first course.
Mixed green salad with crumbled goat cheese, toasted walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and homemade pomegranate citrus vinaigrette.
The salad was AWESOME and so beautiful too. I love how pomegranate seeds are both tasty and beautiful – they really made the salad. Plus, using pom juice as a base for the vinaigrette really tied the salad together, and worked great against the creamy goat cheese and toasty warm walnuts.
The main course was also a hit.
Grilled Amberjack marinated in pomegranate molasses, tangerine, and shallots, served with a warm fennel apple slaw, pickled red onions, and a sweet potato cake. The amberjack is a white fish that is pretty mild but meaty, and was PERFECT for the pomegranate, tangerine, and shallot glaze that we both marinated the fish in and garnished the plate with. The sweet potato cake (which you can barely see) was the perfect bed for the fish – and was made by boiling sweet potatoes and running them through a food mill, adding egg and flour, and then making them into patty shapes. Then we coated them in panko bread crumbs and pan fried them to a crispy finish. The whole plate meshed so well.
The final course was, of course, dessert, which was out of this world.
Creamy pomegranate sorbet with chocolate chocolate chip biscotti. The sweetness and crunch of the biscotti could not have been a better match for the creamy, tangy pomegranate sorbet that, quite literally, melted in your mouth. The sorbet just had pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, sugar, and lemon juice – perfect ingredient list if you ask me.
And that was it! Every guest left with their (reusable) pom canvas tote bag, filled with a pom bracelet, a chef series pack of recipe cards, a coupon for a free bottle of juice, and a whole pomegranate. Everyone (including us!) had such a great time and enjoyed the food and company both pretty evenly!
Pomegranates are in season from now through January, so I’m sure you’ve seen them in your grocery store! I highly recommend giving them a whirl – even just throwing them into yogurt or on top of oatmeal if you don’t feel TOO experimental. They are SO good for you and are absolutely delicious, too. Plus, I hope you can tell from the YouTube video that its really not too hard or messy to open a pomegranate if you do it the right way!
POM Wonderful will be selecting 10 winners of the 100 entrants, so if you think I did a good job, please leave a comment on their facebook wall or tweet about it using #pomparty and @bethsjourneytt. Winners will be announced December 1st, so I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything!