We’re 5 Today!! Plus Bacon & Shrimp Cheesy Grits and a $100 AmEx® GiftCard GIVEAWAY!!

Bacon & Shrimp Cheesy GritsMan, oh man!

We’re F-I-V-E today!!! For real, for real— as in, I’ve been rambling about food, family, and absolutely random things for 5 YEARS!

Holy Moly!!!

Bacon & Shrimp Cheesy GritsThese past five years have been filled with quite the Foodventures and every foray into the kitchen still brings surprising successes, utter failures and always new takeaways. It’s never a dull moment!

And I kind of dig how my palette has changed over the years. Dishes I used to despise are now the ones I crave and are obsessed with making. Things I used to think I couldn’t live without are now nowhere to be found in my kitchen.

Bacon & Shrimp Cheesy GritsWhich is why for our 5th blogiversary, I opted to make this utterly decadent, stick-to-your-ribs Bacon & Cheesy Grits. Because believe it or not, I used to hate grits. Well…anything of that similar texture. Oatmeal, porridge, cream of wheat— all of it. Bleh!

But then one day, I woke up and the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the forest animals were frolicking and a bowl of shrimp & grits somehow magically appeared in front of me.

And my life was changed. Luscious, cheesy, goodness. Mind blown.

So I’m pretty certain you’ll love them too. Not to mention it’s super easy to make.

Bacon & Shrimp Cheesy GritsAnd because y’all have stuck with me throughout these past few years and have followed my random musings, we’re having a fantabulous (did I just use that word??) $100 American Express® GiftCard GIVEAWAY for one of our lucky readers. I don’t know about you but it may come in handy with the holidays coming up.

Want to know how to win?

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There are six (6) different ways for you to enter!  Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did: This Giveaway has ended- THANKS!

  1. Leave a comment sharing what dish do you now love but didn’t like before;
  2. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  5. Follow our boards on Pinterest (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  6. Follow us on Instagram (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so

The deadline to enter is Monday, November 17th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be notified the next day. This Giveaway has ended- THANKS!

And with that dear friends, thanks again for all of your support and here’s to another five years of delicious and entertaining Foodventures!!!

Alohas ❤

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Bacon & Shrimp Cheesy Grits
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 tablespoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or other Cajun spice blend)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garlic salt
black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 scallions, chopped, more to garnish
3¼ cups low sodium chicken stock
kosher salt
1 cup grits
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, more to garnish
3 slices bacon, diced
½ cup minced shallots
1 cup finely diced bell peppers (assorted colors)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup dry white wine
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a bowl, mix the shrimp with the hot sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, olive oil and chopped scallions. Set aside.

In a heavy bottom pot, bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Slowly whisk in the grits and cook until the grits have thickened and become tender. For quick grits, this will take about 5-7 minutes over medium heat. For regular grits, simmer for about 25 minutes. Once done, stir in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Cover and keep warm.

In a cast iron skillet or other heavy bottom skillet. Slowly sauté the bacon until it becomes crispy and the fat has rendered down—about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the bacon bits to a plate covered with paper towels. Reserve one tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan and discard the rest. Sauté shallots in the bacon drippings until translucent. Add the diced bell peppers and cook for an additional two minutes. Add the garlic and shrimp and cook until the shrimp just begins to turn pink—about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skillet. Turn the heat to medium high and pour in the white wine. Use a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the skillet to release all the brown bits. Allow the wine to come to a boil and reduce the liquid for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter, Worcestershire sauce, and red chili flakes. Add the shrimp back into the skillet and allow the items to cook for an additional minute. Taste and season as needed.

Divide the cheesy grits amongst four bowls and top each mound with the shrimp mixture. Sprinkle each bowl with the additional cheddar cheese, scallions and crispy bacon. Serve immediately.

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula + a RAD GIVEAWAY!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

It’s true.

This carnivorous, bacon loving gal can enjoy a “sans-meat” meal from time to time. Which is why I was happy to join our friends over at Safest Choice® Eggs this month with their fun {and downright awesome} March Meatless Meals Party!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

I went back and forth for some time as to what I would make and finally decided upon this hearty and heartwarming dish – tender, savory lentils with fresh arugula leaves topped with an unctuous poached egg.

Uh……YES, PLEASE!!!!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

It all starts by sauteing various aromatics and then cooking the lentils of your choice {I opted for green lentils} until they become tender. Perch a perfectly poached egg on top and you’re ready to dig in!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

Great for weekend brunch entertaining or an easy weeknight meal, this lentils dish can also easily be adapted for the meat-lovers out there. Rendering bacon or pancetta with the aromatics would be utterly spectacular or perfectly cooked prawns would be the raddest sidekick to the poached egg.

But as delish as these lentils are, I’ve got to let you in on this FABULOUS giveaway sponsored Safest Choice® Eggs.

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

Enter now until Monday, March 31st for a chance to win one of two Safest Choice™ prize packs. Each prize pack will include (1) $200 Amex gift card, one (1) Lodge Round Fry Pan 10”, one (1) Sur La Table® Red Mixing Bowls, one (1) Flexible Nylon Spatula, one (1) Eggs cookbook, and 52 coupons for a free dozen of Davidson’s Safest Choice® Eggs; Approximate Retail Value is $467.00

HAVE MERCY– that’s awesome!!!

Want to know how to enter? Easy peasy! Click HERE where you’ll be redirected to Safest Choice giveaway powered by Rafflecopter.

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

Best of Luck, Friends!

And remember, enter by March 31st so you can get in on all that goodness!!!!

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Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula
Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups chopped leeks, thoroughly washed and dried
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup lentils
½ cup white wine
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
kosher salt
black pepper
2 cups fresh arugula leaves
4 ounces parmesan cheese shavings
quality extra virgin olive oil
In a heavy bottom pot, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, leeks and garlic. Sauté until softened but not browned—about 5-7 minutes. Add the red chili flakes, thyme sprigs, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the lentils and then pour in the wine . Continue simmering until the wine has reduced and nearly evaporated. Add the vegetable stock, bay leave and bring the liquids to a boil. Partially cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook the lentils for about 25-30 minutes or until tender.
While the lentils cook, begin poaching the eggs. Fill a separate pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in the vinegar and slightly lower the heat. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl it around quickly in the pot to make a whirlpool in the water. Slowly pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The movement of the whirlpool will help the egg form but you can also use a spoon to help it along. After about 2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg and set aside into a warm bowl of water. Cook the eggs just under of how you’d normally like your eggs. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Once done, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low to keep the water hot.

After the lentils have cooked until tender, pull out the stems of the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Drain any excess stock that may remain. Season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Toss the lentils with the arugula leaves and use a slotted spoon to plate into 4 dishes.

Using the slotted spoon and dip each poached egg into the pot of hot water to rewarm it. Gently blot it dry with a paper towel and place on top of each lentil mound. Place parmesan cheese shards over plate and drizzle the tops with a bit of the olive oil. Garnish with additional thyme sprigs and serve immediately.

Meatless-Meals

Sriracha Deviled Eggs + The Pioneer Woman Holiday Cookbook GIVEAWAY!

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

As my nephew, Lucasaurus, would say…..

Oh Yea! Oh Yea! Oh Yea!

The other week I came home to a package on my doorstep from the fabulous Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman). Within seconds I ripped it open to find a lovingly signed copy of her new cookbook – The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Over a 100+ lip-smackingly delicious recipes that are just darn gorgeous. And perfect for any holiday from Valentine’s Day to Cinco de Mayo to Turkey Day and heck–even game day!

I was already drooling from the ravishing photos when I came across the page for Sriracha Deviled Eggs. Sriracha? Deviled Eggs? Football Finger Foods? YES, PLEASE!

And let me tell ya……they are darn good and so quick and easy to make! Ree describes them as “with a Spicy Asian kick“—just like me 🙂

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

In celebration of Ree’s new cookbook, I’m giving away (3) signed copies of it! Yup–you read correctly… THREE COPIES!

There are six (6) different ways to enter (increase those odds, Baby!) To Enter, please be sure to leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did This Giveaway has ended- THANKS!

  1. Leave a comment sharing what is your favorite holiday dish to make;
  2. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so);
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so);
  5. Follow our boards on Pinterest (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so);
  6. Follow us on Instagram (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so

The deadline to enter is Thursday, November 7th at 5pm (PST) This Giveaway has ended – THANKS! and the winners will be notified the next day. Good Luck!

Thanks so much to The Pioneer Woman for sponsoring this giveaway! And don’t worry Bella, I won’t give away our copy.

Bella

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Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Makes 24

Ingredients:

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs (peeled, sliced open, and yolks removed)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sriracha
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Black sesame seeds, for garnish

Mix the yolks with the mayonnaise and Sriracha. Then add the rice vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mash it and mix it together until the mixture is smooth. It will be a little on the thin side. Spoon the filling into the egg halves. Then sprinkle a few black sesame seeds on top.

Note: I opted to use a piping bag with a decorative tip to fill the eggs and topped them with a sprinkle of paprika and some chives—but the eggs are just as delish as is.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

Pssst….. I wrote a Cookbook + GIVEAWAY!!

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Oh wait.

Didn’t I tell y’all?

Jan 21, 2013

Yup. It’s true. Pinky Swear!

Last year, I partnered with the folks at Adams Media to author the 2nd edition of the Everything Stir-Fry Cookbook.

Over several months, I developed and tested scores of recipes for the book and now it’s ready for your hot little hands!

Now before you second guess what encompasses “stir-frying”, know that my approach is less about what you think stir-fry dishes are and is more about about understanding a basic method (high heat with proper mise-en-place).

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Of course you’ll find some favorite stir-fry dishes such as Teriyaki Chicken, Mapo Tofu, Mongolian Beef and Chow Fun. But you’ll also find some unexpected delights such as Chimchurri Skirt Steak, Pork Saltimbocca, Rock Shrimp Tacos, Linguine alla Carbonara, and Cheese Steak Sandwiches. I had to put the Nam twist on the book! 🙂

All and all, I’m quite happy about the final results. I’m pleased with the recipes I’ve put forward and feel pretty great about the dishes I’ve styled and photographed for the book. It’s a great starting point and handbook for folks just starting off in the kitchen.

4 years ago, I would have never imagined that I would have a food blog let alone write a cookbook. But life has its funny ways of working out. And as I stare at this pile of my printed cookbooks– I can hardly believe it! CRAZY! Needless to say, it was definitely a Foodventure!

I owe my family, loved ones, and YOU a big thank you for giving me the oompf to do this. And to show my appreciation, I’m offering a fun combo giveaway of my new cookbook + a nifty The Culinary Chronicles canvas bag.

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Five (5) folks will have the chance to win this combo pack—and there are six (6) different ways for you to enter! Now those are some great odds!  This GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Leave a comment sharing what your favorite stir-fry dish is;
  2. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  5. Follow our boards on Pinterest (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  6. Follow us on Instagram (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so

The deadline to enter is Friday, July 5th at 5pm (PST) and the winners will be notified the next day.

And in case you want to give them away as gifts, you can order the book at Amazon here.

HUGE….GINORMOUS THANKS for all of the support! I hope y’all like the book and best of luck with the giveaway!

xoxo and Alohas,

Nam

Italian Sausage & Mushroom Skillet Lasagna + Nambé GIVEAWAY

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

When I was living in LA for grad school, my roommates and I would often find time between classes and work to make dinner together. They were modest meals that came out of our tiny kitchen and on our grad student budgets– but they were always fun and memorable. Especially because we barely had any cookware or pans!

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

One pot meals were a necessity and boy did we come up with some doozies! A million different types of fried rice, stroganoffs, breakfast scrambles, stir-frys, and one of my tried and true favorites—skillet lasagnas.

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

Skillet lasagnas were perfect! Not only were they delish and filling but you literally only needed a pan and one stove top burner to make it.

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

No ovens, no baking dishes and no extra pots needed to boil the noodles ahead of time. Just the thing when you’re short on time—and cookware.

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

So when I got my little hands on this gorgeous sauté pan from our friends at Nambé, nostalgia kicked in and I had to give it a roll.

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

Nambé’s new cookware line is FANTABULOUS! Sturdy, heats evenly, easy to clean and is just so pretty. Since they’re so snazzy, you can move them directly from the stove to the dining table! Cookware to Serveware? Where were you when I was in grad school?!

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

And since you are the sunshine of my day, YOU will have the chance to win a set of four (4) of their new CookServ Sauté Pans (8, 10, 12 and 14 inches) courtesy of the awesome team at Nambé! Check out these beauties:

CookServ-SautePans-web

Nambé has partnered with several different blogs for this joint giveaway of these stunning pans that are retailed at 650 buckaroos. Want to know how to win?

It’s Easy-Peasy!

Simply click on the following link to enter the Nambe Giveaway powered by Rafflecopter

Italian Sausage & Skillet Lasagna

ps. Whether you have only one pan in your pantry or a dozen, you’ll really want to make this Italian Sausage & Mushroom Skillet Lasagna. Sooooooo yummmyyy!

pps. Don’t forget to enter this rad giveaway and BEST-O-LUCK!!!

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Italian Sausage & Mushroom Skillet Lasagna
Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
2 cups sliced crimini mushroom
1 cup diced white onions
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon tomato paste
3 16-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes
10 ounces dried lasagna noodles (about 2/3 of a regular sized box)
1½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt and black pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

In a large skillet that has a lid; heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Removed the casing from the sausage and add to the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage and cook until lightly brown. Add in the mushrooms and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. Remove the sausage and mushrooms to a clean plate.

Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the onions until softened and translucent. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute before adding in the tomato paste. Allow the mixture to cook for an additional minute to allow the items to become aromatic. Transfer the sausage and mushrooms back to the skillet and stir to combine.

Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the tomatoes with its juices until smooth.

Break the lasagna noodles into 1-2 inch pieces and layer on top of the ingredients in the skillet. Pour the pureed tomatoes and chicken stock over the noodles. Allow the liquids to come to a slight boil. Cover and simmer the lasagna for 20-25 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Continue cooking until the noodles become al dente.

Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and lay pieces of mozzarella over the top. Garnish with basil leaves and serve warm.

**If you would like a bit of crunch, turn on your oven broiler after placing the mozzarella cheese and place the skillet about 4 inches away from it. Allow to brown for about 30-45 seconds but be sure to keep an eye on it to avoid burning the lasagna.

Grilled Cheese with Avocado & Tomatoes + Cuisinart GIVEAWAY!

Grilled Cheese with Avocado & Tomatoes

I love experimenting with new recipes. It’s challenging, fun and when the dish is successfully completed, it’s totally gratifying.

But after a long day, week, or heck–even an afternoon, all I want to eat is something quick and comforting. Fried SPAM with rice, instant spicy ramen or a trusted ol’ sandwich. And for me, the latter usually means a BLT or a grilled cheese of some type.

Grilled Cheese with Avocado & Tomatoes

One of my fav grilled cheeses is so simple but deliciously satisfying. It’s made with Kings Hawaiian sliced bread that has been lightly buttered and then grilled with pepper jack cheese, thin slices of Roma tomatoes, sliced avocados, and a thin spread of grainy mustard. So.Freaking.Good.

In honor of the humble sandwich, one of our rad readers will have the chance to win a Cuisinart Griddler® Grill & Panini Press!

Cuisinart-GR-11-1

Isn’t she a beauty?! Not only will you be able to whip up the most delectable sammies but you can also remove the plates to grill burgers, steaks, and anything else that your heart may desire. Now that is multi-functional!

How to enter: This GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Leave a comment and tell us what is your favorite sandwich.

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  2. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  3. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow our boards on Pinterest (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so).

The deadline to enter is Friday, March 8th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be notified the next day.

Best of luck, Friends!!!!

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts + Nambé GIVEAWAY

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

If you are anything like me, you’re still finalizing what dishes you’ll be making for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’ve got the desserts squared away but still need to commit to an appetizer or two……Baked Brie? Cheesy Mushroom Bread? Oh, the options…

But if you are in need of a dessert to wow your guests, you must try out these beautiful Pomegranate-Pear Tarts.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

You can use whatever types of pears you like but I find that either Bartletts or Anjous work out best. I also put a light honey-glaze to provide a little bit of sweetness and a sheen. As for the pomegranates, they added a great freshness and crunchy texture while giving a bit of tart flavor. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the tops with crushed pistachios.

Not only are these tarts eye-catching and delicious but they only take a few minutes to put together! Perfect for holiday entertaining when I always seem like I’m racing the clock.

And since this is a time for giving Thanks….our amazing friends at Nambe are giving us a chance to say THANK YOU to our readers with a giveaway!

One reader will have the chance to win this gorgeous Handled Tray !

How to Enter: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED…Thanks!

Leave a comment and tell us what the first thing you’ll serve using the Nambe Handled Tray

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  2. Like the Nambé Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like Nambé, leave a comment and let us know); or
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so).

The deadline to enter is Monday, November 26th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be announced the next day.

THANKS so much Nambé and HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!

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Pomegranate-Pear Tarts
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Bartlett or Bosc Pears, cored and sliced lengthwise to 1/8 inch width
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon warm water
¼ cup pomegranate arils
fresh whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the sheet into 4 equal squares.

Transfer the puff pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving ample space in between each square.

Leaving a ½ inch border of the puff pastry around each square, shingle the pear slices so that all 4 pieces have been covered. Gently fold over the dough on each side of the squares and pinch the corners to seal.

In a small bowl, mix the honey and water together until combined. Brush the tops of the pear slices with the honey glaze. Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

Remove the tarts from the oven and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tarts with the pomegranate arils and serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.