Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cranberries, Not Just Thanksgiving

Over the past several months, I have been trying to come up with a Cranberry Chutney recipe that suits our taste, have modified and made a number of batches, and I think I'm almost there. Our friends like it, thus we end up with little, so that's an excuse for making another batch. I'll share the result once I think it's where we want it to be.

Prior to Thanksgiving I was telling my friend Donna about the chutney and she asked if I ever put wine in my Cranberry Sauce. She had discovered a recipe on the internet and wanted me to look at it.

While searching I found several variations of the sauce. However, it seemed to have a lot of sugar, so I cut the quantity in half, and having done that it seemed quite adequate. I assume not having many sweets while growing up has made me a bit sugar sensitive, meaning my stomach is not sure how to process it, so a bite or two of any dessert generally satiates my palate. I apologize to all you confection lovers out there, but following a wonderful meal, that meal is the final taste I want to savour. I digress, so back to the task at hand.

Cabernet Cranberry Sauce from Diana's kitchen

1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (may try a Merlot next time)
2 Tablespoons Orange Zest
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
a touch of cayenne
12-ounce bag of fresh Cranberries (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup cold water

Add sugar, orange juice, wine, zest, cinnamon stick, salt and cayenne to a sauce pan. Stir and bring it to a simmer on medium heat. Add cranberries and return to a simmer for 10-15 minutes while the cranberry skins pop and the sauce thickens. Umm... can you smell that wonderful rich and zesty aroma as it simmers?

Add 1/4 cup of cold water and turn off the heat. Remove the cinnamon stick. Cool the sauce to room temperature and refrigerate until needed. It should keep for several weeks.

My notes: make the sauce several days ahead as it thickens even more under refrigeration. Additionally, some of the berries plump-up, and I must say, this sauce has a wonderful luminescence, beautiful color, and a bit of tartness makes it so delicious! Serve not just at Thanksgiving and with turkey, but try it with chicken or pork.

You might want to check out George's wonderful blog at A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse... where he offer's Mom's Orange-Cranberry Relish and Caroline's Cranberry Chutney among other fine recipes.