Thursday, November 3, 2011
Spicy Cranberry Apple Chutney and tradition
I believe in giving people gifts early. It's a bit of a tradition of mine. I'll intentionally send a birthday package weeks or even months early to my best friend or my dad. Then I'll call and try to persuade them to open it early. If I know they are going to like the gift, I want them to enjoy it for as long as possible. So here's a little gift in the form of a recipe. I hope you'll make it for yourself, sooner than later.
Cranberries are now in season, but they made a timid appearance in the grocery store a few weeks ago. As soon as I saw a small stack of them in the produce section, hiding behind the out-of-season strawberries, I grabbed a few bags. I made a batch of cranberry orange muffins, twiddled my thumbs a little and then saw no reason to wait any longer to make my favorite cranberry sauce. Instead, I'm indulging in this spicy, crunchy, complex chutney for the next few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
I am not exactly a traditionalist and I'm not one to get very wrapped up in the holidays. I always vary my Thanksgiving menu, and this year I plan on roasting pork instead of turkey. It's hard to imagine a Thanksgiving dinner in my home without this spicy cranberry chutney -- the one I ate every year growing up. I serve it in the one piece of heavy crystal that I own, from my grandmother. On certain traditions, I don't compromise.
Spicy Cranberry Apple Chutney
Serve with roasted chicken, turkey or pork. I instantly livens up a turkey sandwich, a bowl of plain yogurt or some cottage cheese. It will keep in the refrigerator for over a week.
4 cups (1 pound) fresh cranberries
1 cup seedless raisins
1-2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup water
1 medium size onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium size apple, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
Combine cranberries, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and water in a large saucepan.
Cook 15 minutes until the berries pop and mixture thickens.
Stir in onion, apple and celery.
Simmer 15 minutes longer, or until mixture is thick.
Cool and refrigerate.