Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cranberry-Orange Relish

I saw this recipe in the paper a couple of years ago and thought it sounded really good. It is. This is not like the stuff out of a can. This is cranberry relish with a serious kick. Relish with an assertive personality.

Be warned: the full recipe makes a lot. They say a quart, but that's a serious underestimate. I started to make this in my 2 quart saucepan but had to switch to my big Dutch oven. The bowl in the photo below is about 8.5" in diameter at the top, and what you see there is half a recipe.

As usual, I made a few modifications to use what I had on hand. Instead of fresh ginger root, I used 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger for the full recipe. I thought this was about right, but you might want to reduce this if you think that's a bit much. I also used 2 tsp ground cinnamon instead of the cinnamon stick, and I left out the star anise. I also left out the salt, though that was mainly because I forgot to put it in at the end. For the orange zest, I just added the grated peel of one orange. For a full recipe, I probably should have used at least one more orange.

Oh, the standard-size bag of fresh cranberries is about 3 cups, so I just used 2 bags.

The relish does need to simmer for a couple of hours to cook the berries and thicken. But that's okay, because when it's simmering, the aroma is FABULOUS. Better than any scented candle. Plus, the cranberries pop as they heat, which will amuse the kids. Note that the finished product wasn't nearly as firm as the canned stuff, but who cares?

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper!

Cranberry-Orange Relish
(source: USA Weekend, Nov. 13, 2005)

It's best to make the relish one day in advance so the flavors can meld.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey, preferably Acacia
4 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh orange zest, pith removed
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 cups fresh cranberries (or substitute frozen cranberries)
2 tsps. fine sea salt

In a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar, honey and orange juice. Simmer until completely dissolved. Add ginger, zest, anise and cinnamon; stir to combine. Add the cranberries and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken, about two hours. When thickened, add salt. Chill and serve.

Makes 1 quart. Serves 16.

Per serving: 169 calories, 1g protein, 44g carbohydrates, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 295mg sodium (nutritional analysis provided by the recipe source).

Recycle: honey jar

Compost: ginger peels, orange peel

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