Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not So Urban Outfitters - Parshat Tetzaveh

"What should I wear?" I repeatedly moaned to my mother as a kid - hanging from my closet door in Sarah Bernhardt-like despair. Now this question gets aimed in Sam's direction, and he, like my mom, has learned that I'd much rather complain than actually hear their advice (some how they always suggest the thing in my closet I'm hating most at the moment). I often wished I had a uniform like those of prep school students. Perhaps I should have yearned for the uniforms of the Jewish high priests that are described in this week's portion, Parshat Tetzaveh - they're quite a bit snazzier than any school uniform I've ever seen.

In the portion, Aron and his sons are anointed as the first priests for the nation and get some fancy outfits to go along with this new role. The Israelites with skills get recruited to make the garments and are given colorful yarn and linens to get the job done. The priests' main robes are blue and coordinate with embroidered sashes, pantaloons and head turbans, woven in purple and red.

The high priest gets a few perks in the wardrobe department- a golden crown and breast plate, and a special robe. His robe designated him as the high priest - its hem was adorned with mini woven pomegranates alternating with golden bells. This clearly took a lot of work to make and not only sounds incredibly artistic, but also enchanting. The red woven pomegranates hung like little jewels and the tiny gold bells would clack against each other as he moved so that everyone could hear when the high priest was approaching. The priests certainly didn't have to wonder what they were going to wear to work.

Playing with the pomegranate detail of the high priests' robe I've got a great pomegranate chicken recipe to share. Just when I was bemoaning the loss of my meat blog and the free meat that went along with it I scored another meat blog gig - this time for chicken with Grow and Behold. This young company sells pasture raised kosher chicken, which they'll be sending me in return for two blog posts a month that I'll contribute to their chicken blog. I've already eaten some of the chicken and it is delicious. You could get the chicken for this recipe from them if you're so inclined. To sweeten the deal all Double Portion readers get a discount on Grown and Behold orders - just enter the code "DBLP5" for 5% off an order over $50 and "DBLP10" for 10% off over $100. I'll keep this info posted on the side bar here as a reminder.

In case you really want to do up the pomegranate theme this week, here are some other pomegranate recipes that have appeared in Double Portion
Pomegranate Citrus Salad
Pomegranate Pizza (meat)
Pomegranate Margarita

Pomegranate Chicken
I learned this chicken recipe at a class that Lauren Klatsky taught.

1 cup pomegranate juice
4 boneless chicken breast cutlets
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot
1/2 cup of vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
3 tbsp basil or cilantro, chopped

Pour the pomegranate juice into a small sauce pan and simmer over a medium flame until it has reduced to 1/4 cup.

Place flour on a plate and mix in a pinch of salt and pepper. Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour.

Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides and remove from the skillet.

Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining half tbsp of olive oil. Mince the shallot and add to the pan to cook for 2 minutes until soft. Add the broth or water and simmer. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck bits. Add the reduced pomegranate juice and stir.

Cook the chicken in the skillet for 8 minutes on one side. Flip the chicken and cook another 7 minutes on the other side.

Place the chicken on a plate and add chopped basil to the sauce. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes uncovered and then pour over the chicken and serve.

1 comment:

  1. the recipe sounds delicious! definitely going to try it :)