SAN DIEGO: Cranberries are a Thanksgiving staple, but why not switch it up a little with a side of Cranberry Chutney?
Choosing side dishes for your Thanksgiving feast
Sometimes the perfect solution to a tasty side dish conundrum can also be the simplest.
The following Thanksgiving recipe, Cranberry Chutney, compliments of cookbook author Diane-Morgans and published in Oprah, is a delightful, palate-pleasing addition to almost any holiday table–and it is inexpensive and easy to make.
Serving Size: Approximately eight cups, which will fill four pint-sized jars
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, stemmed
2 ½ cups sugar (or sugar substitute for those on special diets)
6 whole cloves
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. salt (or light salt for those on special diets)
2 6-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch diced
2 6-ounce Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch diced
1 small 5-ounce yellow onion, diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
In a deep 6-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
Cook until berries begin to pop open, which is approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust heat so mixture barely simmers.
Stir in apples, pears, onions, raisins, and ginger.
Continue to cook the entire mixture, stirring frequently until it is thick, approximately 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Discard the visible cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Once the mixture is cooled, refrigerate in tightly sealed jars for up to 2 months.
Retailers such as Williams-Sonoma sell a variety of attractive mason and preserve jars, which will safely and cleanly house the homemade Cranberry Chutney. Making it a beautiful and personal gift with the addition of a colorful bow.
The edible gift
When guests depart from your Thanksgiving feast send them off with a jar of cranberry chutney, attach a cheery ribbon to each mason jar along with an accompanying gift tag for its recipient. Then watch the smiles this thoughtful and delicious gift evokes!
Cranberry chutney pairs nicely with many types of cheese, whether young or aged, topping off crackers and small slices of bread.
It is also delicious at dinnertime, complementing a variety of cooked meats such as turkey, chicken, pork, lamb or beef.
After the holidays it makes for a delightful addition when served on sandwiches made of leftover meats, either alone or mixed with mayonnaise.
The Cranberry Chutney recipe can also be easily adapted to accommodate family and friends who have food allergies and/or special diets
As the long-awaited holiday celebrations gear up and traditional gift-giving begins, remember that the true value of any gift lies in its thoughtfulness and the spirit of love and care in which it is given.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!