Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Cooking

A Thanksgiving recipe for cranberry sauce, plus six ways to mix it up

Canned cranberry sauce plopped onto a plate is a tradition on some Thanksgiving tables. But the jiggly maroon cylinder might disappear more quickly if you make your sauce from scratch, with whole cranberries and sugar. It's one of the easier sides to prepare on the big day, but it also can be made days in advance to save time and stovetop space. Fresh sauce is more customizable, too, the canned jelly bearing little resemblance to the tartness of fresh cranberries, which you can let shine in your homemade sauce or mellow out with a hefty amount of sugar. Adding less sugar will produce a looser, fruitier, less gelatinous sauce.

Here, we're offering a recipe for traditional homemade cranberry sauce and six mix-ins if you want to take things to the next level.

Nuts

Make sauce according to original recipe. When sauce is done cooking but before it has cooled, mix in a handful of toasted walnuts and a tablespoon each of chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and sage.

Shallot and cherry

Add 1 shallot, roughly chopped, in with the cranberries, along with about ¼ cup dried unsweetened sour cherries, and cook according to original recipe.

Jalapeno

Omit the orange peel in the original recipe, instead adding the juice of 1 lime, ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapenos and 1 tablespoon brine from the jar to the saucepan with the cranberries and other ingredients. Cook according to original recipe, then remove from heat and stir in the finely grated zest of 1 lime.

Grapefruit-apricot

To the saucepan with the cranberries and other ingredients, add 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice, ⅓ cup fresh orange juice and 1 sprig rosemary. Cook according to original recipe. Two minutes before sauce is done, add ⅓ cup thinly sliced dried apricots and ¼ cup golden raisins. Remove rosemary sprig before serving.

Ginger

Cook cranberries according to original recipe. After they have cooked for 10 minutes, add 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ⅓ cup crystallized (candied) ginger that has been finely chopped to the saucepan and stir well. Let cook for another 10 minutes or until desired thickness.

Dried figs

Add 1 cup halved dried figs in with the cranberries and substitute ¼ to ½ cup of the water for dry red wine. Otherwise, cook according to original recipe.

Comments
Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Lavender is almost as pretty to smell as it is to look at, but as far as taste goes, the results arenít always as appealing. A little like cilantro, lavender can taste soapy to some people, making it a tricky plant to use properly. But, when used the...
Published: 05/22/18
I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

One of my 2018 cooking resolutions was to cook at least 10 things this year that I never have before. Somewhere near the top of my list was short ribs. You can hardly eat at a restaurant now without seeing short rib in some form on the menu: braised,...
Published: 05/22/18
Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

My addiction to sugar began as a child. I loved sugary breakfast cereals as a morning meal or an evening snack, the sweeter the better. We used to joke in my house that I even added table sugar to Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. Thankfu...
Published: 05/21/18
Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

When the clock strikes midnight, I reach for the cookie jar. Okay, maybe itís not an actual jar ó maybe Iím even lazier, and I reach for the cardboard box of chocolate chip cookies I bought from the store. The point is, my late-night snack habits are...
Published: 05/16/18
Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

The year was 2011. It was the night before Prince Williamís wedding to Kate Middleton, and I stood in my kitchen making chocolate chip scones. I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m., with plans to sit in the spare bedroom of the townhome and watch Britainís ro...
Published: 05/15/18
Taste test: pineapple juice

Taste test: pineapple juice

Having always loved a fresh pineapple stick in my brewed iced tea, I wondered recently if a splash of pineapple juice would give it the same sweet kick. While few of us drink pure pineapple juice, our panelists definitely enjoy an occasional watered-...
Published: 05/14/18
Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Asparagus is by far the favorite vegetable of my family. I can serve nearly 3 pounds of asparagus a couple of times a week to my family of six, and my girls will still argue over who gets the last stalk. I say this not to impress you with the adventu...
Published: 05/11/18
Five ideas for Motherís Day breakfasts

Five ideas for Motherís Day breakfasts

Are you stumped for Motherís Day ideas? Donít stress. This year, surprise the mothers in your life with a special breakfast that fits perfectly with their personalities. Whether she loves the tradition of breakfast-in-bed or prefers her meals on the ...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/10/18
Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

When Rick Bragg told his mother that his new book about her would be titled The Best Cook in the World, Margaret Bragg protested: "I wasn’t even the best cook that lived on our road." Bragg writes, "I told her we couldn’t call it The Thi...
Published: 05/09/18
Making granola at home is easy and scrumptious with this Maple Cashew Granola

Making granola at home is easy and scrumptious with this Maple Cashew Granola

If Iím being honest, most of what I do in the kitchen is recreate really delicious things Iíve eaten somewhere else. No, it never tastes the same, but itís a useful way to get cooking inspiration, and also to not spend $10 on something it takes $2 to...
Published: 05/08/18
Updated: 05/09/18