fancy fruit.

Awhile ago I was in this weird used clothing store in Montreal that sold used underwears, which doesn’t seem like the best idea, and so I was flipping through this vegan food zine on the counter. Anyway, I deemed it kind of useless since it devoted 3 pages to a “Mango Manhattan” which is, in fact, just a commonsense way of cutting a mango so fruit pieces stick up like skyscrapers. I was not so into this idea, and it struck me that maybe if one needs a recipe for cutting fruit one should not remove all animal products from one’s diet. Just sayin’. (Side note! I am into vegans! I have nothing against vegans! I even like to learn cutting techniques! This just really struck me as unnecessary.)

Anyway, perhaps I was too hasty, because recently I learned an awesome trick for easy pomegranate eating. Pomegranates are delicious and apparently full of anti-oxidants but are so so messy because they drip all over and seem to stain. But! Kaili showed me that if you cut open a pomegranate and rip it open in a bowl of cold water, all the lovely seeds fall to the bottom while all the white parts and skin float. This is particularly helpful because any seed explosions are contained.

This is a great trick for me since I am very messy and love pomegranates. Also, there are many signs pointing to the pomegranate’s growing popularity, including:

• proliferation of Pom juice glasses in my cupboard
• prime location at the grocery store and fruit market
• everyone is eating them, on everything

This prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with asiago cheese, caramelized onions and spinach was even better, for instance, with pomegranate seeds on it. This recipe is fancy but wonderfully simple, and comes from the bakery I used to work at.

• 10 oz fresh spinach
• 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 6-12 slices of prosciutto
• ½ cup caramelized onions
• ½ cup grated asiago cheese
• ¾ cup chicken stock
• ¼ cup brandy

Preheat the oven to 375. Blanch spinach by throwing it quickly into boiling salted water, then plunge it into cold water. Drain, and squeeze it into a loaf shape. Divide the spinach into 6 portions and set aside.

Between plastic wrap, pound each chicken breast until it is about ½ an inch thick. I hate doing this, maybe try to get someone else to do this part for you. Put a slice of prosciutto on a clean piece of plastic wrap. Lay a chicken breast on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a portion of the spinach across the width of the breast, followed by a portion of onions and cheese. Roll breast around filling, with the prosciutto on the outside. Do this for all the breasts, adding more prosciutto if necessary. Place breasts, seem side down in a baking dish. Add stock and brandy and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

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