Perfect pomegranates

Nothing says autumn quite like pomegranates. These delicious seeds are great in savoury dishes as well as sweet, sprinkled on salads or even juiced. Try some of Sean Gravina’s recipes of grilled sea bass, cooked whole and served with a smokey burnt aubergine and bright pomegranate seeds for colour and sweetness, or this impressive dessert – a classic millefeuille with mango and pomegranate and coconut crème pâtissière.

Grilled sea bass on burnt aubergine with garlic, lemon and pomegranate seeds

seabass-copy

Ingredients

• 1 whole sea bass, gutted
• 1 large aubergines
• ½ garlic clove
• ¼ lemon, zest only
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Handful parsley, chopped
• Handful mint, chopped
• ½ large pomegranate, seeds only
• Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Place the aubergine directly on a moderate flames and roast for 15-18minutes, until the skin is burnt and flaky and the flesh is soft. Use metal tongs to turn them around occasionally. Alternatively, score the aubergine with a knife in a few places, a couple of centimeters deep, and place on a baking sheet under a hot grill for about and hour. Turn them around every 10 min or so and continue to cook even if they burst and break.
  2. Remove the aubergines from the heat and allow them to cool down slightly. Once cool enough to handle, cut an opening along each aubergine and scoop out the soft flesh, dividing it with your hands into long thin strips. Discard the skin. Drain the flesh in a colander for an hour at least, preferably longer to get rid of as much water as possible.
  3. Place the aubergine in a medium bowl and add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, ½ a teaspoon of salt and a goof grind of black pepper. Stir and allow the aubergine to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.
  4. Heat a grill on medium heat until very hot, in the mean time score the fish on both sides.
  5. Place in a dish and drizzle plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the grill is hot place the fish and don’t touch for at least 4 minutes, turn and cook for about the same time.
  6. When ready to serve mix in most of the herbs into the aubergine and taste for seasoning.
  7. Serve the seabass with a generous spoon of the aubergine and scatter the pomegranate and the remaining herbs.

Mango and pomegranate millefeuille with coconut crème pâtissière

mille-foglie-copy

Ingredients

• 250 puff pastry
• Plain flour, for rolling
• 6 ripe mangoes
• 1 lime, zest only
• 2 limes, juice only
• 1 tsp ground chili powder
• 60g caster sugar
• 1 pomegranate, seeds only
• Icing sugar, for dusting

Coconut créme pátissiére

• 3 medium egg yolks
• 60g caster sugar
• 25g flour
• 200g coconut milk
• 100ml double cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly- floured surface to form a rectangle, 2.5mm thick-that’s about the thickness of a euro coin.
  3. Place the pastry on a baking tray and leave in the fridge to rest for 30 mins.
  4. Prick the pastry at intervals with a fork to prevent it from shrinking as it cooks. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on top, followed by another baking tray to keep the pastry flat.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the tray and paper.
  6. Turn the oven temperature down to 200°C and cook the pastry for another 20 mins or until crisp and cooked through.
  7. Remove from the oven and carefully slip the pastry on a wire rack to cool, cut the pastry into 12 rectangles, each 8x4cm.
  8. To make crème pâtissière, whisk the eggs with the sugar in a bowl and add the flour.
  9. Bring the coconut milk to the boil and pour it into the bowl, mixing well.
  10. Tip the mixture back into the sauce pan and bring it to the boil, whisking constantly.
  11. Remove from the heat as soon as it boils and dust the surface with a little icing sugar to avoid a crust or skin forming.
  12. Once the crème pâtissière is completely cold, fold in the whipped cream.
  13. Skin the mangoes, slice a few and dice the rest and season with lime zest, half the lime juice and the chilli powder.
  14. To make the sauce, blitz all the mango trimmings with caster sugar and the rest of the lime juice until smooth.
  15. To assemble, take a pastry rectangle and pipe a little pastry cream over it. Add some diced mango, pomegranate seeds and then repeat, finishing with a layer of pastry. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the mango sauce.

Sean Gravina