Monday, November 17, 2008

Cranberry Sauce with Pears and Ginger

I had a two-day Thanksgiving feast this past weekend. I'm going to celebrate the actual holiday in Connecticut with family, but since Thanksgiving food is so fun to cook (and eat), I like to do a meal for me and Mike. That way, I get to try out whatever recipes I want, and we get to have our own leftovers!

Of course, having this blog is also great motivation to do a Thanksgiving trial run. In the next week, I'll post all the recipes I tried this weekend. One fabulous cornbread stuffing recipe came straight from Gourmet magazine and another was an online find, but the rest are originals. Everything we made was delicious, and I'm glad I decided to go all-new, rather than repeating any old favorites (like this chestnut stuffing).

The first one I'm posting is this cranberry sauce that I put together after reading many other cranberry sauce recipes. None were quite what I wanted. This uses slightly less sugar than the norm, but it's not at all too tart. The sweetness gets balanced out by the savory flavors of diced jalapenos and garam masala. The prominent flavor of fresh ginger is fantastic and completes the slightly Indian vibe.

I'm not sure which recipe from the weekend is my favorite, but I have to say that we loved this cranberry sauce. It's my favorite ever. Mike said it was "really interesting," and he meant that as a big compliment--which I loved! It's also great on sandwiches or, honestly, just eaten with a spoon.

Cranberry Sauce with Pears and Ginger

The spice of the fresh ginger is the big flavor in this not too sweet cranberry sauce. If you don't like the taste of fresh ginger, use half the amount. Garam masala is a mild Indian spice blend that you can find at ethnic markets and large supermarkets; if yours is very fresh and potent, use the lower amount. This is a quick recipe, but it requires 3 hours of chilling time (you can always speed things up with the freezer though).

12 oz. fresh or frozen defrosted cranberries
1 large pear, cored and chopped into 1/3-inch pieces
1 Tbs. finely minced fresh ginger
2 small jalapeno chiles, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup water
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 Tbs.)
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. salt

Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until cranberries pop, pears soften and mixture thickens. Stir often to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a serving dish or storage container and chill uncovered for 3 hours. May be made up to 2 days ahead; cover after 3 hours. Serve chilled.


Muse in the Kitchen said...

This looks great. I love the idea of marrying the traditional flavor of cranberries with ginger!

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels said...

Great cranberry recipe. Love the pears, ginger & jalapenos to give a little heat to the sweet!

Matt said...

I have been in a stuffing and cranberry rut for years on end and now have a reason to get out of it. Both of your recipes sound great. I love fresh ginger and pears. They sound like an ideal combination with the tart cranberries. I also am interested in trying your chestnut, cranberry, and pear stuffing. I am embarrassed to say that I have never had chestnuts in stuffing despite that it's such a classic addition to the dish.

Julie said...

Thanks everyone! I use fresh ginger fairly often, but I don't think i've ever enjoyed this much. Matt: you will love this...try it! I love chestnuts in anything. They are great with Brussels sprouts. I hope you get a chance to try them this year.

Christie's Corner said...

This sounds amazing. Being Canadian, we had our Thanksgiving in October, but Christmas is on the horizong...

gail shepherd said...

I made this cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite cranberry sauce ever -- so good I can eat it plain with a spoon. I love the heat from the jalapenos with all that ginger and curry. Thanks so much for posting these recipes -- I also made the green beans with Meyer lemon sauce and hazelnuts (I had one Meyer lemon on my tree), also delicious. Hope your holiday was a happy one!

Julie said...

Gail--Thanks for letting me know how it turned out! I have to totally agree...I love the flavors. I made this recipe twice already and I have more cranberries in the freezer to make it again. I also eat it with a spoon. Happy holidays!

czimarowski said...

Fixed it for Thanksgiving today-was a hit! Wonderful flavors!