Secret Agent: Pomegranate Molasses

Ever since juice companies everywhere started marketing the outrageous health benefits of pomegranate juice (and selling them in those cool-shaped bottles), we've had an explosion of recipes that use the product. Our favorite iteration is perhaps the simplest: pomegranate molasses.

Pomegranate molasses is a traditional ingredient in Lebanese and Mediterranean cooking used to punch up everything from short ribs to moussaka to baklava and cakes. And these days the venerable syrup is becoming just as popular stateside. What do you do with it? That's the brilliance of this secret agent: The possibilities are limitless. Drizzle it on meats, top a bowl of fruit, or mix it with yogurt. Drip-drop it over cereal, cheese, crème brulee, and ice cream. Add it to champagne, club soda, or your weekend mimosa. Vinaigrettes and gravies, cocktails and sauces, glazes and cakes... Get the drift?

Pomegranate molasses is sticky-sweet and super-tart, with the consistency of honey and the color of rubies. And the aroma, whew, the aroma! Let this be your new double-secret weapon for garnering smiles and sighs. Brush a pork tender with the exotic-ish flavor and leave your guests with clean plates and questioning eyes. What is that captivating flavor? Aha, the agent strikes again.

You can make your own pomegranate molasses by simmering four cups of pomegranate juice with a half cup of sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice for about an hour... or you can buy it at Central Market or any Middle Eastern food store for about $4. No matter which method you choose, keep in mind that a tiny bit goes a long way. Covert ops.

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