Here is the second installment in my Thanksgiving series (two posts on the same topic can be considered a series, right?). The first installment was for my favorite Thanksgiving carb, Herbed Oyster Stuffing. Now we have its partner in crime, cranberry sauce. It’s a tangy, fresh accompaniment to hearty Thanksgiving fare.
I know some of you are bound by tradition to canned cranberry sauce, tin can ring indentations and all. However I strongly encourage you to give fresh cranberry sauce “a go”, as they say here in the UK. It really couldn’t be any easier to make – it will probably be the easiest and quickest thing on the menu. The warmth of the cinnamon and ginger along with the brightness of the orange (Coldpress brand OJ is my fav! Sadly it’s not available in the US.), and a bit of zing from the ginger all make for a refreshing sauce. And as for the wine, do we really need a reason?
As for the rest of the meal, I thought I’d share what will be on my Thanksgiving table this year. Generally I stick to the same time-tested dishes year-after-year, mixing it up with at least one new recipe. This year I’ll be debuting Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Sauce. The sauce is served on the side, so those who want their traditional, uncompromised pumpkin pie can have it. And those of us who could never deny a pecan praline sauce can spoon it on top. Genius! I’ll be making the Barefoot Contessa’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie and the Pecan Praline Sauce is from Smitten Kitchen.
Funny how dessert snuck in before I could discuss the main meal….For that I’ll be making Perfect Roast Turkey (though I’m forced to roast it in a deep dish pizza pan as that’s all my small Euro oven will accommodate), Turkey Giblet Gravy, mashed potatoes (no recipe – just mash, milk, butter, salt and pepper), Herbed Oyster Stuffing, Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and the Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Wine (recipe follows). That’s what will be on our table this Thanksgiving. I’d love to hear what will be on yours!
Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Wine
Note: Frozen cranberries can be substituted for fresh. Use them straight from the freezer – just add 2 minutes to the cooking time.
2 cups (475 ml) red Zinfandel or a similar red wine (Syrah, Chianti, Merlot)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
5 large strips of orange peel (each about 2″ long, use a vegetable peeler)
1/2 cup (120 ml) orange juice
6 whole cloves
4 slices peeled ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
12 ounces (340 grams) fresh cranberries
Combine everything except for the cranberries in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced a bit and thickened, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour the wine mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Discard the solids.
Return the liquid to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the cranberries and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Allow to cool before serving. (Can be made one week ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Adapted from Cooking Light