Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A (cran)Berry Happy Thanksgiving to You!

As promised, here is the cranberry sauce recipe I mentioned, just in time for the big GobbleFest. Now seriously folks, who of you out there looks forward to Thanksgiving for the turkey? Turkey with gravy - okay, maybe I'll buy that. But we're all really in it for the sides. They can be sweet, salty, colorful, crunchy, earthy, buttery, leafy - you name it! Turkey is, more often than not, just dry. Of course, nothing beats the carnal satisfaction derived from tearing into a huge drumstick with your canines! (Howls emphatically for effect)

But on with the show...

This recipe is originally from the New York Times, but I've altered it somewhat to yield more of the stuff and to give it a bit of a zing (the orange zest). Hope you like!

Cranberry and Walnut Relish (adapted from the NY Times, 11/12/08)
Makes 8 cups

- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 leaves fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 2 cups dried cranberries (look for fruit juice sweetened)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (plus 2 tablespoons of its zest, chopped small)
- 1-1/4 cup Demerara
sugar (type of unrefined evaporated cane juice)
- pinch salt
- 16 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped
- 2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped

Tie the rosemary and sage together with kitchen twine and set aside. Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and melt the butter. Add the onion and cover to cook, stirring occasionally, till tender but not browned (about 5 minutes).

Add the rosemary and sage, dried cranberries, apple cider, orange juice and zest, sugar, and salt. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the fresh cranberries and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent burning, till the relish is thick and sticky, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar as necessary. Add the walnuts and let cool. Allow the relish to chill overnight before serving.

* To make ahead: Prepare and freeze in an airtight container for up to three months

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