Nov 16
2010

POM Dinner Party—A Japanese Harvest Feast

in Entertaining, LFM Videos, Tips & Tricks

Pillsbury Crescent Finalist smallHave you voted yet today? You can vote once every day between now and December 31st! Help me win the title of favorite Crescent Cook and be entered for the chance to win $5,000! (See more voting details at the end of this post.)*

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Pomegranate cut open

Just as a preliminary note, if you’re sick of hearing about pomegranates, then I apologize in advance, because I am not done with them yet!  As mentioned in my last post, I hosted a dinner party this past Saturday.  After applying, I was one of a group of bloggers picked to host a POM Dinner Party.

Boxes of fresh pomegranates

POM Wonderful sent each of the hosts 2 boxes of pomegranates, POM juice coupons, and some party bag swag to help get things going.  POM is giving away 10 prizes to the best hosts and judging us on 3 criteria:

  1. Best incorporation of pomegranates into the menu/drinks
  2. Most inspired pomegranate decor
  3. Most successful “How to Open a Pomegranate” presentation

The theme of my dinner was a Japanese Harvest Feast.  Japan isn’t a country you would normally think of when talking about pomegranates, so I thought it would be a fun challenge to incorporate pomegranates into Japanese cuisine.  I focused on Japanese dishes and fall ingredients to build my menu.  I used pomegranates in every way I could think of using them.  I used fresh arils, pomegranate juice, pomegranate juice concentrate, and homemade pomegranate molasses in the dishes.

Pomegranate Arils, Pomegranate Juice, Pomegranate Concentrate, and Pomegranate Molasses

I originally had 8 guests coming, but ended up only having 6 that could come.  But our little dinner group of 7 was still a lot of fun and we enjoyed a wonderful evening of conversation, eating, and pomegranates!

Around the tableAt the pomegranate harvest dinnerMr. and Mrs. Fuji

My friend Jen even drove all the way from L.A. to be at the dinner (now that’s dedication for ya)!

Rachael and Jen

For the table decor, I went with an autumn inspired look.

Pomegranate Harvest TablePOM Table Decor

I also hollowed out one of the pomegranates,

Hollowing out a pomegranate

and used it to make a small flower arrangement for the kitchen table where I did a demonstration on how to open a pomegranate.

Sunflower Pomegranate ArrangementDemonstrating how to open a pomegranate

To start the evening I made a Shiso Pomojito “mocktail” with fresh shiso leaves, sugar, pomegranate concentrate, lemon-lime soda, and sparkling water.  For the appetizer, I made a crab, avocado, pomegranate salad with a creamy pomegranate dressing that I served in endive boats.Appetizer Course -- Endive Boats

Then we moved on to the salad course, which was an autumn sunomono made with carrots, daikon, persimmons, and pomegranate arils in a sweet rice vinegar dressing.

Tsunomono with fresh arils

For the main course I made traditional Japanese tonkatsu (breaded and fried pork cutlets) served with a side of shredded cabbage, but made a homemade tonkatsu sauce using pomegranate molasses to go with it, and sprinkled fresh arils over the shredded cabbage.

Main Course -- Tonkatsu with pomegranate tonkatsu sauce

After the main course I served small bowls of a creamy kabocha sweet potato soup drizzled with pomegranate molasses and garnished with fresh pomegranate arils.

Kabocha Sweet Potato Pomegranate Soup

To finish off the evening, I served a pomegranate sponge cake roll filled with an almond whipped cream and topped with a pomegranate lemon cream glaze.

Pomegranate Sponge Cake Roll

Because you all couldn’t be at my dinner party, I will be sharing all of my recipes with you in posts over the course of the coming week.  I also had Mr. Fuji film me while I did the pomegranate demonstration so that you wouldn’t miss out!  Please excuse my scratchy voice—I’m still dealing with repercussions from my tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy in September!

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To vote for me in the Pillsbury Crescent Cook Contest, you have to fill out the entire form below the pictures and set up an account for your vote to count. After registering the first time, you then have to log in for each subsequent vote (log in area is at the top of the page), hit the vote button, then scroll down and hit the “Enter Now” button. You’ll know that your vote has been counted if you then get a screen that starts with, “Thank you for entering the My Crescent Wow Sweepstakes!” Thank you so much for your support!!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }



Box of Chocolates November 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Love it and will definitely be using it in a cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving.

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Olga @ MangoTomato November 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm

love your use of pomegranates as vases! sunflowers look so pretty in them.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) November 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm


Ken - hungry rabbit November 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Great demo on opening the pomegranate. Definitely ‘Most successful’ w a hint of sexy.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) November 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

@Ken – hungry rabbit, HAHAHAHA, glad that you weren’t scared away by my scratchy voice!

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Fuji Nana November 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Here’s what I want to know: Did you TELL your guests to wear red or gray/black so your photos would be extra stunning, or did it just happen that way????
So yummy.

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Heather (Heather's Dish) November 16, 2010 at 3:38 pm

that first shot of the pomegranate is the best i’ve seen…gorgeous!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) November 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm

@Heather (Heather’s Dish), Thank you Heather! You just made my day! :)

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Liren November 16, 2010 at 6:50 pm

What a beautifully executed party, Rachael! Everything coordinated so nicely, including (as Fuji Nana points out) the guests :) And yay, so glad to see that Jen was able to join you! Each dish looks amazing – I especially love the soup. That would be perfect for my Thanksgiving table :)

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Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers November 17, 2010 at 7:25 am

i think we need to reunite the pom harvest tour gang at your house for a re-do of this party! it looks amazing! :)

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Kate @ Savour Fare November 17, 2010 at 8:54 am

I love the faces you’re making in those pictures — so Rachael! The dinner looks amazing — how do I score an invite to the next one?

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Paula - bell'alimento November 17, 2010 at 9:50 am

So very pretty {but wouldn’t exepect anything less from Fuji Mama} Brava! xoxo

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Amanda November 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

I love POM and their products! Maybe even a little more now! ;)

Just voted for you… you are a show in for the Pillsbury contest!! Way to go!

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Amanda November 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

*shoe in Sorry!

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Nancy@acommunaltable November 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Wow… what a beautiful table setting and menu – such a creative use of pomegranates!! It’s really challenging to do a multi course menu and work in the same ingredient in each course and I think you did an absolutely outstanding job. I’m with Kate – how do we score an invite to your next soiree :-)???

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Denise Pedroza November 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm

The party looks great. I’m lucky that my mom sent me some free ones up with my Dad for me to enjoy this season. By the way, today KPCC (Pasadena’s NPR station) tweeted that they were looking for a food blogger for a quick project. I nominated you, but I don’t know how many nominations they got… or even what the project was!!

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gina @ skinnytaste November 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I’m with Julie!! We need a pom harvest tour reunion!! Your table looked lovely, your food delicious, and your video great. Miss you!!

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V November 17, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Hi! I love pomegranates! Do you know, could I store half a pomegrante in the fridge for a day? I only wanted half, so I only seeded half.

Thanks!

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saltyseattle November 19, 2010 at 9:53 am

such a well-executed party, Rachael- love the thought you put into everything.

on another note, just wanted to let you know i think you’re fantastic and i am happy you play a role in my world. love, linda

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Cookin' Canuck November 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm

It looks as though you had a ball dreaming up this menu. What a feast! Your table looked so pretty, too.

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

That first photo? Breathtaking.

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Maria November 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Your photos are fantastic! You sure know how to throw a party! I am a little jealous of all of those POM’s:) Enjoy!!

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Bren November 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm

girlfriend “te lo comiste” as we Cubans would say to express you outdid yourself. niiiice job! I’m bummed I didn’t join you on the trip but also not on the party round up. how fun! and I can’t wait to meet you and Jen. we were talking long before I went on the tour. Sounds like dinner was a smashing hit! :)

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Carrie January 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Rachael, you had me at Kabocha squash…but shiso leaves? I now want to be president of your fan club, lol!

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Heritageofjapan May 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Please, would you share your shiso pom mocktail recipe… it sounds great. How do you juice the fruit?

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