1st Day of Christmas: Pomegranate/Cranberry Dip


Pomegranate/Cranberry Dip

Quick intro! So this year’s 25 Days of Christmas posting is themed as gifts you can give and recipes. Yep! I sussed out 25 recipes/gift ideas because I was trying to think what I could do and decided that a lot of yummy recipes would be fun. Some of them are actually normal food too! Other are more along the lines of dessert but my thought with those is you can make them and give them as gifts. And if you are someone who had a ton of people to give gifts too you can make a couple of the recipes and give people different things. I for one would love to get these upcoming ideas as gifts. Oh and some I’ve made and some I’m just planning on and think they are brilliant enough to share with you.

First up, Cranberry Dip! I posted this recipe last year after discovering the very delicious cranberry version of it. But this year I have a twist I’d like to share.

This is honestly delicious as your cranberry substitute for Christmas. Last year, we had leftovers of the Cranberry Dip which we used on our Turkey (or ham if you prefer). It was so delicious. I didn’t get the chance to add it to a Turkey sandwich but I’m thinking this year I will definitely do that.

My cousin has put in a pomegranate orchard on the family property which is doing well (he even has the fruit sold by the time he harvests) and with that comes bags of pomegranates for free. Nice perk, no? I’m not the type to typically eat a pomegranate as is (after deseeding) and I got to thinking, “what can I do with all this pomegranate?” My thought was to switch out the cranberry for the pomegranate and what a delicious treat that turned out to be.

Now there are some differences, first a pomegranate isn’t bitter like cranberries so you don’t need the amount of sugar the cranberry recipe will call for. First, let me give you the original recipe and then I will talk about the mild changes.

Time: 15 minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration
Yield: 15 servings

Ingredients:
1 12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2 8 oz packages cream cheese

Mix It Up

    1. Put your cranberries in a food processor. Thank goodness my blender/processor from last year bit the bullet and I switched to a Ninja which actually chops like a dream.
    2. Hand chop up your green onion but feel free to toss the cilantro and jalapeno pepper into a food processor as well. Saves time. Removing the seeds from the jalapeno will make it less spicy which is how I prefer it but make it to your own liking. Throw on a pair of rubber gloves or something if you fear getting the jalapenos’ oils on your hands (this has happened to me and it isn’t pleasant).
    3. Add all ingredients (but the cream cheese) into a bowl. Mix them all together, cover and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The sugar needs some time to soak in to the cranberries and break up their bitter taste.
    4. When you are ready to serve, place your cream cheese bricks on a plate and cover with cranberry dip. You can also smooth the cream cheese over the plate or I’ve seen it covering a large lavash cracker (see below) with the dip on it or on the side for people to scoop onto it. Either way the guests or family will be happy.
    5. And if you expect there to be leftovers, double it because it will disappear quickly.

 

Now how would we change it for pomegranates? Here is what I came up with and the flavoring was sublime!

Had to really play this by taste but it worked out really well. Because pomegranates vary in size you will likely need 3 large, 4 medium or 5 rather small ones. Pomegranates right out of an orchard vary immensely in size so we had to kind of wing it. Your prep time will definitely go up when dealing with pomegranates but using the method in the video below helps a lot! I would recommend getting an extra pomegranate just in case yours don’t yield what you think they are going to.

http://l.lj-toys.com/?auth_token=sessionless%3A1449597600%3Aembedcontent%3A10000243%26616%261%260%26youtube%260uKJrb42144%3A14365362b64907b50f4ce1f64f969cd3f94e5ae2&source=youtube&vid=0uKJrb42144&moduleid=616&preview=0&journalid=10000243&noads=1

Time: 30? minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration
Yield: 15 servings

Ingredients:
About 3-5 pomegranates, deseeded
3 stalks green onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped (deseed is optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp lemon juice
dash salt
2 8 oz packages cream cheese

Mix It Up

    1. Deseed the pomegranates into a 2 1/2 to 3 quart glass bowl (something that won’t stain).
    2. Chop green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno. Mix into pomegranates.
    3. Add in sugar, cumin, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
    4. Refrigerate for 4 hours at least for the flavors to meld together and for the pomegranates to release some of their juice. Overnight actually worked best but either way works.
    5. Lay out over cream cheese much like the cranberry dip.

This went over very well and it was amazing to see the cousins and everyone together, super quiet as they continually ate the pomegranate dip.

Original Source for Cranberry Dip

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