Thanksgiving's Red Sauce
Today is T minus 2. Do yourself a favor and make the cranberries TONIGHT. You’ll thank me on Thursday when you’re elbow deep in mashed and stuffing, realizing that you’ve completely spaced on the red sauce and there's nary a burner to get them simmering. Let's nip this cran in the bud and check it off the to-do list; better still, cranberry sauce is a cinch to make, requiring minimal after-work mental energy and just one saucepan.
I made a batch yesterday morning while still in my pajamas and drinking my first cup of coffee; within 35 minutes, my sauce was done and the house smelled heavenly!
Now, get going and make that sauce. And if you're so inclined, here's your chance to give thanks and share your tried-and-true cran recipes. Weigh in with your berry good ideas in the comments area. Today is chat today; talk turkey and trimmings with me today at 1 ET.
P.S. The berries, pictured above, are from the “cranberry coast” of Washington state, about three hours southwest of Seattle. They’re a tad pale, the result of an early harvest, but no less delicious. The farmer told me they would be sweeter, but I’d say they’re more mellow than sweet, but every bit as tart as their fully pigmented red brethren.
1 pound fresh cranberries
Approximately 8 ounces good quality maple syrup, or to taste
Optional add-ons: Chopped walnuts or pecans; 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Rinse cranberries and place in a medium saucepan. Using a zester or grater, remove peel of one of the oranges, dice, and add to saucepan. Slice oranges into halves and squeeze juice over cranberries. You want liquid to barely cover cranberries; add water or more juice as necessary.
Add ¾ cup of the maple syrup, reserving the rest on as-needed basis. Stir mixture to combine and bring up to a boil. Lower heat and cook over a simmer; cranberries will make a popping noise as they cook, reduce and thicken. Stir occasionally and cook until desired consistency; taste for sweet/tart ratio and add more maple syrup as necessary.
If using walnuts or ginger, add off the heat and stir to combine.
Serve either warm or at room temperature. Can be made days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Makes about 2 cups sauce.
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