Archive for December 16th, 2009

If you are having a Turkey this Christmas the chance is that there will be some Cranberry Sauce on the table.  It’s difficult to get excited about the shop bought variety, however, even if it is one of the better quality brands.  I usually find it is not worth the bother – a bit like having jam with my main course – so I pass it on to the next person.  This year I have found several variations for a relish made using fresh Cranberries and chose to make this one which adds orange as well as ginger, which we love. It was lovely.  Sharp, fruity and spicy but not particularly sweet.  (I had seconds!)  Another version substituted Clementines, always available at this time of year and combined them with Star Anise … perhaps another year.  The family eat Cranberry Sauce throughout the year with roast chicken and also in sandwiches with an unexciting slice of cold chicken.  I once made a large ‘hand raised pie’ using hot water crust pastry with layers of chicken, ham, sausagement and cranberry sauce.  It was a quite lot of work but great fun to do and a satisfying result in more way than one, I remember!  I ought to make one again some time.  Whilst this recipe for Cranberry & Orange relish is wonderful for Christmas and special occasions, I shall make one of the ‘shortcut’ recipes for improving a jar of pre-purchased cranberry sauce for everyday use.  Recipes for these are given after the recipe.

This recipe was part of Delia Smith’s Christmas cooking article in the December 2009 edition of the ASDA instore magazine.  She recommends that any left over relish is great served with pâté and potted meats.  It keeps well in the fridge for up to two weeks from the date it was made, although it would keep a little longer if potted into sterilised jars. An attractive jar filled with relish with a pretty lid cover or wrapper and would make a good seasonal gift.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Cranberry & Orange Relish
(Enough to serve 8 – fills 4 small shop sized cranberry sauce jars)

450g fresh cranberries – I successfully used previously frozen and thawed cranberries
Zest and juice of 1 large orange – wash before zesting
½ teaspoon ground ginger
75g sugar
4cm piece of cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2-3 tablespoons port

1.  Chop the cranberries well, using a food processor or small chopper and place them in a saucepan.

2.  Remove the zest of the orange with a zester or potato peeler so you have very fine shreds. Squeeze the orange and add to the pan, along with the strips of zest, ginger, sugar and spices.

3.  Heat the mixture to simmering point, stir well, cover the pan and simmer very gently for about 5 minutes.  (Delia Smith recommends using a kitchen timer as it is so easy to forget about it.)

3.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the port.  When it has cooled, pour into a serving dish and cover with clingfilm.  Keep it in a cool place or the fridge until needed.  The cloves and cinnamon should be removed before serving!  Alternatively, while still hot, the relish can be poured into sterilised jars with sterilised lids.  Once cooled the relish can be kept for a little longer as the jars should be airtight, although it is recommended that they are stored in the fridge.

Shortcut ways to ‘improve’ a jar of standard shop purchased cranberry sauce:
Zingy Cranberry Sauce (from the ASDA instore magazine, December 2007)
Place 80ml port and the juice and finely grated zest of an orange in a pan and gently boil until thick and syrupy.  (You could add some spices too as in the above recipe if you wish:  cinnamon stick or star anise, ground ginger, cloves.)  Stir in a 150-200g jar (depending on brand) of shop purchased Cranberry sauce (not Cranberry Jelly).  While still hot, pot and seal.
Cranberry and Apple Relish (Found on the ASDA website)
Put a peeled, cored and finely chopped Cox or Granny Smith Apple, 5tbsp orange juice and 50g raisins in a small pan along with the contents of a 150g jar of Cranberry Sauce (not Cranberry Jelly).  Stir over a low heat until well mixed, then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture thickens.  Turn into a bowl and leave to cool. Alternatively while still hot, pot and seal.

I do not know what the shelf life of these shortcut versions would be and suggest they are eaten fairly quickly and stored in the fridge. 

Both of these recipes sound easy enough but are untested, but sound as if they would be worth a try.  If anyone does make them I would appreciate any feedback as to their success. Thank you.

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