Monday, October 31, 2011

Not Your Average Cranberry Sauce

There is something wonderful about tradition.  The repeated action, the comfort in its history...the idea of traditions just makes me smile. I have been in charge of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving Dinner for as long as I can remember.  It began with my mother giving me the berries to sort- and I would sit at the kitchen table and carefully look through the bags, finding any cranberries with imperfections, and removing any leftover stems or leaves that managed to cling on from the bog.  As time went on and I grew up, I got to be in charge of the whole process- sorting to cooking.  Of course, Cranberry Sauce might be one of the easiest things to make, so I can't feel too proud of it.  Water, sugar, berries- it's pretty straightforward. 

This weekend, as I grocery shopped for the week ahead, I saw a lovely bag of cranberries sitting in the refrigerator case.  I never make cranberry sauce outside of Thanksgiving, but seeing them inspired me and into my cart they went.  I continued to wander and found some of my other favorite fall ingredients- sage, a pomegranate, and then, ginger root.  I grabbed at each excitedly, normal ingredients becoming treasures.

Back at home I measured out a cup of sugar and a cup of water and set them, in a medium sized pot, over medium low heat.  The idea here was to get the sugar to melt.  Then I roughly chopped four leaves of fresh, beautiful sage, and then grated a tablespoon of fresh ginger, and a table spoon of orange zest into the pot.  These ingredients simmered together until all of the sugar melted into the water, and then I removed the sage leaves, and then added the package of (sorted) cranberries.  I followed the "directions" on the package from here- though basically you just wait until the cranberries burst and then the sauce is done.

I poured the sauce into a bowl and set aside to cool.  Once it had reached room temperature, I removed about a cup of the sauce, and stirred in 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds, an 1/8 cup chopped walnuts, and then just a bit (a teaspoon) of fresh cracked black pepper.  I was in love with this sauce.  The cranberries had a wonderful spicy flavor from the fresh ginger and the black pepper, they had maintained their own tartness, but were wonderfully sweet from the sugar, as well as the pomegranate seeds.  The walnuts helped a long with texture and the orange added a wonderful citrus freshness.  This was great on it's own, and as a relish for a sandwich- more on that later though.    


Anonymous said...

this is one of the good food it has no bad side effect it is one of the good for me nice foods. thanks for it.

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Michelle Collins said...

Mmmm, I love cranberry sauce! I really like your twist on the traditional recipe.

Jen said...

I always just have regular old cranberry sauce, but I love the awesome flavors you mixed into yours.

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