Cranberries

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What’s Thanksgiving without Cranberries!

I am a Cranberry hoarder. I wait anxiously come late September every year for cranberries to start arriving at the market. I always purchase 2 bags of cranberries every time I go and freeze them. In fact you pretty much will find my whole freezer with an exception of a few cartons of ice cream overflowing with cranberries. I hoard them because fresh cranberries are seasonal and not available in spring or summer and I like to use them all year long. If you buy cranberries in a plastic bag they can go directly into the freezer and will last up to nine months. Frozen cranberries can be used in recipes without thawing; since frozen berries will be soft when thawed plus it’s easier to chop or grind them while frozen. Added bonus, Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C.

You will always find Cranberry sauce in my refrigerator especially during the holiday season. It’s a great side dish to go with most everything especially Turkey!

Cranberries sauce is a must on Thanksgiving and serving it has become a tradition in this country. Legend has it as we all have heard that the Pilgrims may have served cranberries at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. The bright red color of the cranberries brightens up the holiday table and makes everything looks so festive not to mention a delicious side dish.

Just a little fun fact, Americans consume over 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. About 80 million pounds or 20 % are gobbled up during Thanksgiving week alone!

I have been sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes over that past few weeks for you to try before Thanksgiving. Just in case you missed them we have already posted recipes for Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Scallions, Creamed spinach, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Blueberry Cobbler, check those out.

This week I am including three different kinds of Cranberry sauce to try. My personal favorite is the one with jalapenos; I really love the bit of heat and crunch you get from them. Another recipe that can also double as a dessert and a Cranberry Sauce that is more kid friendly!

Enjoy!

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 CRANBERRY’S IN ORANGE MINT SAUCE WITH JALAPENO’S

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, chopped small
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped small
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Toast the walnuts first starting with a cold dry pan. Turn the heat to medium and shake the pan back and forth like you would popcorn to keep them from burning. As they start to toast they will turn a deeper color and release their natural oils, about five minutes. Set aside.

Heat a medium saucepan on medium high heat for 1 minute, add the canola oil and the shallots, sauté for 1 minute, add the jalapenos and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil over high heat. When the cranberries start to boil lower heat to medium cook for 3 to 5 minutes, you will hear them start to pop. Remove from the heat source and let it rest until it comes to room temperature. Add the walnuts, orange zest, and mint. Mix and refrigerate overnight. The cranberries will thicken as they cool. ?You can add more chopped jalapeños if you like, I like! ??Serve cold or room temperature.

8 to 10 servings

COOKS NOTE:

I make double the recipe because I like to have it for leftovers. I put it in sandwiches or over my granola, yogurt and fresh fruit!? I make the cranberry sauce 2 days before. I like to give the cranberry mixture a chance for the all the flavors to combine.

SPICED CRANBERRY’S

When I made this recipe for the first time I thought it would work both with the Thanksgiving meal and dessert! I tried it over peppermint ice cream and went crazy, it’s so refreshing and different. It works also on Frozen Yogurt, orange and peach sorbet and vanilla ice cream with a stream of chocolate sauce! WOW!

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup port wine
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 gallon peppermint ice cream

Toast the walnuts by placing them in a small cold frying pan. Turn the heat to medium and shake bake and forth for 5 minutes until they start to release their natural oil and turn golden. Set aside off the heat.

Place the first seven ingredients into a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. When the cranberries begin to pop boil for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the toasted walnuts and orange zest and chop one tablespoon of fresh mint and mix together, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to chill.

Serve it with the Thanksgiving meal or as a dessert. ?Place a scoop of ice cream in a bowl and pour 1/4 cup of the cranberries sauce over the top. Top with fresh lightly chopped mint leaves from the sprigs as a garnish.

COOKS NOTE: The cranberries can be made 2 days ahead and kept cold in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Will last up to a week.

Kid Friendly Cranberry Sauce!

  • 1 package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoons chopped mint

Toast the walnuts first.

Place the walnuts in a small dry frying pan and turn the heat to medium high. Shake the pan like you would popcorn to keep them from burning. As they start to toast they will turn a deeper color and release their natural oils, about five minutes. Be careful and don’t burn them as they will taste bitter and you would have to start all over again!

Place the sugar, orange juice and Cranberry’s in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Boil gently until you start to hear the cranberries pop then boil for 5 minutes more. ?Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before you store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Just before serving add the toasted walnuts and fresh mint.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

8 to 10 servings

 

 

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