It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house…hopefully there is no chaos in your Thanksgiving Eve. There was a time when this night was the best night to bar hop thru Manhattan or wherever you live but it’s settled into a night with the family and getting ready for Thursday’s onslaught of family, friends, and lots of foods. Can you imagine a Thanksgiving Day table without turkey and it’s Cranberry Sauce? If you don’t care for cranberry sauce this may be a good time to go back to the Candy Crush game you were just playing. If you DO care for Cranberry Sauce you will fall into a few different camps…there’s the IT MUST BE FROM A CAN, because that’s the way it was and always should be. Respect that people, do not ever get between a Thanksgiving diner and their heartfelt sentiments, ever. No dissing the canned. Then another camp is the I HATE IT..ok, we’ve already dealt with that group of malcontents. Another camp is the SCREW TRADITION LET’S MIX IT UP…a colorful group, to be commended for free thinking and wild abandon…is that an ancho chile dusted pecan in that raw chop of cranberries, limes, oranges and honey? Kudos to the free thinkers! There’s the NO WHOLE BERRIES group, they can get vicious if a stray whole berry makes it’s way onto their plate. Be vigilant. And then there’s the WHOLE BERRY WITH SOME INTERESTING ADDITIONS WITHOUT TURNING THE WHOLE THING UPSIDE Group…I fall into that one. Familiar enough to the canned, whole berries for a daring culinary adventure of sorts, and a few additions to just make you think you could maybe win on Chopped or TopChef.
Let’s make Cranberry Sauce with a hint of orange, spice, and Rosemary.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package of fresh Cranberries
1 sprig fresh Rosemary
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. ground allspice.
Combine sugar and water and rosemary in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then add cranberries, return to the boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently for 10 minutes Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and gently apply pressure to some of the berries to ensure their popping. Remove from heat as the berries should have all popped and thickened the sauce. This is not be as “jelled” as the canned stuff but will have some body to it. Add the Allspice and the orange zest now and blend. Cover this and let it sit for at least 1 hour. Then empty it into a bowl, removing the rosemary sprig. Cover and refrigerate and serve the next day. Warm, Spicy, Bright. It brings all the flavors together that match your turkey or even pork and chicken.
I could eat this on it’s own, like a bowl of it…OK, i have a thing for anything cranberry. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Happy Cooking!!!