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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent Blogging Day Four...Seafood and Pomegranate Molasses

I braved Snowmageddon here in Carson City yesterday because I had a hankering for some halibut.

It's really funny how the newspapers and local TV stations have been building up the big storm we had yesterday, but apparently, no one in this area took them very seriously.  It started to snow very lightly yesterday around 9AM and built up to a pretty good snowfall by the end of the day. We received about 6-7" total at my house.

Although I am a native of Orange County CA I DO know how to drive in the snow...unlike a bunch of people in this area, apparently. I was amazed at the number of wrecks and spin-outs on Highway 395/Carson Street yesterday when I went to Costco...which is one mile from my house! 

Costco has been out of the frozen halibut portions for a couple of weeks, so I decided to take a chance and check them out yesterday. I reasoned that since it was snowing like crazy, there might not be such a crowd at the store. I was right...and halibut was in the freezer section! 

I picked up some Pomegranate molasses at the Persian Market in Mission Viejo CA during my last trip to visit the family. I try to go to that market every trip down south since they carry some of my favorite ingredients, such as harissa paste and za'atar. I know I can order them online, but it's much more fun to go to the market and discover other hidden gems for cooking that I can pack in my luggage. It's that 'instant gratification' thing, I suppose. 

I decided to use the Pomegranate molasses as a marinade for my fish. Kevin's not very fond of pomegranates or halibut, so I made some garlic butter shrimp for him. 

While the seafood defrosted, I made the marinade.

Pomegranate molasses is slightly sweet, a little savory and very tart. I mixed 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the Pomegranate molasses with 1 teaspoon of za'atar. Za'atar is an ancient 13th century middle eastern spice blend that contains sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds, oregano, majoram, and salt. The spices can vary, but it always contains sumac and toasted sesame seeds. It is absolutely delicious and also makes a great dip just mixed with a little olive oil. 

I slathered the marinade on the fish and let it marinate for a couple of hours.

Then, I added the fish to a hot cast iron pan with a little olive oil and a teaspoon of butter, and popped it into a 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes. 

I served it with some leftover potato casserole from Thanksgiving, steamed broccoli and a salad. YUM!
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