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Variations on the cranberry sauce theme

Spicy cranberry salsa, foreground, dried fruit cranberry compote and cranberry chutney only take 10 to 15 minutes to make.

Associated Press

Spicy cranberry salsa, foreground, dried fruit cranberry compote and cranberry chutney only take 10 to 15 minutes to make.

There is something to be said for the "splurt" sound made when dumping a can of cranberry sauce into a serving bowl. Ditto for the ridges etched in the sides of the sauce. Thanksgiving, after all, is about tradition.

But the official condiment of Turkey Day can be so much more. And without much more effort.

The easiest way is to simply follow the directions on the back of a bag of fresh cranberries, which usually involves dumping the cranberries, a somewhat scary amount of sugar and a bit of water into a saucepan and boiling until thick.

Getting more creative — and more flavorful — isn't hard. These quick recipes are jammed with flavor. The first, a cooked chutney-style sauce that sports warm, spicy flavors, is the easiest. The second offers a sweeter take; it's studded with dried fruit. Or for something a little different, try the third, a spicy uncooked cranberry salsa. The heat of the jalapeno is just enough to complement the other flavors of the meal without competing.

>>easy

Cranberry Compote

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1 cup apple cider

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup diced dried apricots

3/4 cup diced dates

1/4 cup diced candied ginger

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let stand or refrigerate until cooled and thickened.

Serves 8 to 10.

Source: Associated Press

>>easy

Spicy Cranberry Salsa

1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 fresh jalapeno, seeds and veins removed

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 small apples, peeled and cored, cut into small chunks

2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

In a food processor, combine the red onion, garlic and jalapeno. Process until finely minced. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until finely and evenly chopped.

Serves 8 to 10.

Source: Associated Press

>>EASY

Cranberry Chutney

12-ounce jar mango chutney

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch salt

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let stand or refrigerate until cooled and thickened.

Serves 8 to 10.

Source: Associated Press

EASY

Variations on the cranberry sauce theme 11/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 21, 2009 3:30am]

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