Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Turkey with Gravy and Cranberry!"

Just as the Adam Sandler Thanksgiving song says, some things are meant to be paired together. A traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner without the cranberries? Or all of those delicious leftover turkey sandwiches?
The Lonesome Road takes a couple of different turns when it comes to cranberries. One likes the jellied cranberry sauce in the can, you know the one - it makes that embarrassing noise as it sidles out of the can onto a plate, in a perfect log shape. The other one (that would be me) likes whole berry sauce, and I like flavors that accentuate and contrast with the tart flavor of fresh cranberries. That is why the following recipe is one of my all-time favorite preparations for cranberries.
Not quite a "sauce," this is more of a relish. Fresh lemony flavor combines with vinegar and sugar plus the whole arsenal of fragrant autumn spices to create a sweet and tart side dish that perfectly accompanies pork, duck and pheasant as well as turkey.
The original recipe is from one of my most cherished cookbooks, "Prairie" by Stephen Langlois. The cookbook is a collection of seasonal and regional recipes from the Chicago area (Prairie was located on Printers Row in Chicago but has since closed). Enjoy!


1-1/2 cups malt vinegar (you can use red wine vinegar to cut some of the acidity; malt vinegar is very piquant)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cups white granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

One 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, washed and picked over

In a medium non-reactive saucepan combine the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, corn syrup and spices. Bring to a full boil over medium heat.
Add cranberries, lower heat and cook on low for 10 to 15 minutes or until the skins have cracked and the mixture has thickened. Store in a non-reactive container for at least 2 or 3 days before serving so flavors have a chance to blend. Makes 1 quart.


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