Cranberrypalooza.

Cranberries with Port
by my mother-in-law, Shelly

2 1/2 cups Port (ruby or tawny)
1 1/2 cups sugar
16 whole cloves
2  oranges, sliced
2 12-oz. bags cranberries

Put cloves in a tea ball and then place it in a large saucepan along with port, sugar and orange slices and simmer for 15 minutes until sugar dissolves.  Add cranberries, increase heat and boil until berries pop, about 8 minutes.  Discard cloves.  Transfer mixture to a bowl or mason jars to cool.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove orange slices before serving (I won’t go near them, but Scott and Shelly devour the candied orange slices, skin and all).

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Cranberries with Horseradish
by my mother-in-law, Shelly
This one is fabulous on turkey sandwiches!!

1 12-oz bag cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup+ horseradish (not the creamed kind)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Chop the cranberries with the sugar in a food processor.  Stir in horseradish (I use closer to 1/2 cup because I love the burn of horseradish – clears the sinuses!!) and lemon juice and transfer to a bowl or mason jars.  Cover and refrigerate. Stir juices every few hours before serving.

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The above two recipes are staples at our Holiday Table, but we experiment with one new recipe every year.  Below is my 2011 choice.  I like the use of maple, apple and walnuts – thank you to Christina at From Scratch Club.

Maple, Citrus & Ginger Cranberry Preserve
Christina, From Scratch Club
makes about 2 pints

INGREDIENTS
12 ounces whole cranberries
3 clementines or 1 very large orange, sliced in small chunks
1/2 lemon, juice & zest
1/2 tart apple
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root
a pinch of sea salt
a crank of freshly ground pepper if you’re feeling sassy.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice (perhaps not for the Thanksgiving meal but perhaps for another batch during the fall/winter months)

METHOD
1. In a dutch over or your trusty stainless steel pot bring cranberries & maple syrup to a low boil. You want to keep an eye on this mixture and stir when needed. Don’t let the sugar burn! You aren’t making a jelly or a jam here, you just want the fruit to break down. You can use a potato masher after about 5-8 minutes to speed up the process, I do!

2. Once on a rolling boil, and the cranberries are on their way to breaking down, add the apples, lemon juice & zest and clementines. Stir. You want the apples to cook down to soft, NOT mushy. I like my cranberry preserve to have a bite.

3. Once apples are soft, not mushy add your sea salt and ginger. Cook a little bit more to make everything incorporated (everything will turn cranberry red). Take your potato masher through one more time to make sure all the cranberries have been mushed (nice technical recipe talk huh?) and then you’re done.

4. Fill clean mason jars or just immediately spread on some bread like I did. Or eat straight out of the jar.

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Below are some oldies but goodies.  They are all interesting and delicious in their own way… but we inevitably grab for our favorites at the Thanksgiving Table:  Cranberries with Port, and Cranberries with Horseradish.

Cranberry Ginger Relish
by my mother-in-law, Shelly

1 large orange, scrubbed, zested and squeezed
1 12-oz. bag of cranberries
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 hot pepper, minced (choose a pepper based on your heat tolerance)
1 Tbs. ginger root, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
Cracked pepper

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until coarse.  Combine the juice and zest of one orange, honey, sugar, minced pepper and ginger root.  Stir in cranberries.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture to a bowl or mason jars.  Cover and chill.  Stir juices every couple hours before serving.

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Tropical Pineapple Cranberry Sauce with Chiles and Cliantro

Bon Appetit, November 2006

1 12-oz bag cranberries
1 1/2 cups pineapple, cubed
2 jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 1/4 tsp. orange peel, finely grated
1/2 tsp,. kosher salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat, simmer and stir until most of the cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a bowl or mason jars to cool.  Cover and refrigerate.

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Exotic Cranberry Sauce with Vanilla Bean and Cardamom
Bon Appetit, November 2006

1 12-oz bag cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 1/4 tsp. orange peel, finely grated
1/4 tsp. green cardamom seed, lightly crushed
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1/2 tsp,. kosher salt

Bring all ingredients (including vanilla pod and seeds) to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat, simmer and stir until most of the cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a bowl or mason jars to cool.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove bean before serving.

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Roasted Beet, Red Onion and Cranberry Relish
Bon Appetit, November, 1998

2 2 1/2-inch-diameter beets, unpeeled
1 1/4 lbs. red onions, peeled
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 12-oz. package cranberries
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs. prepared horseradish
4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets in double thickness of aluminum foil. Cut onions through root end into 3/4-inch-thick wedges. Place onion wedges in medium bowl; toss with oil. Arrange onion wedges, cut side down, on baking sheet. Place beets directly on oven rack. Roast beets until tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes and onions until brown and tender, turning once, about 1 hour. Peel beets; cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Chop onions coarsely.

Using on/off turns, coarsely chop cranberries in processor. Add beets and onions; blend briefly to chunky consistency. Transfer to bowl; mix in honey, horseradish, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 day. (Can be made 4 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

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