Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The secret to getting cranberry sauce just right

Food-American Table-Cranberry Chutney

In this image taken on Sept. 24, 2012, a recipe for cranberry chutney with port is shown in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

By
From page C6 | November 18, 2012 |

One of the many things I love about Thanksgiving is the continuity of the menu across generations and regions.

Sure, every family and region has its own interpretation of the staples. But it is simply amazing to me that on one day so many Americans regardless of background sit down to roughly the same meal – turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, dressing (if you’re in the South, stuffing if you’re in the North), some sort of potato and a healthy dose of pie.

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving – aside from basically everything – is the cranberry sauce. It is one of the very first recipes I developed many years ago when I was supervising the public relations side of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. I called it a cranberry chutney instead of a sauce because it is so thick with fruit, spices and a touch of vinegar. It is good enough to eat off a spoon!

Just be aware – the flavors are intensely American and have no resemblance to Indian chutneys.

Even though most Americans serve cranberry sauce from a can, I urge you to make this the year you try making it yourself. It’s so easy and so delicious, there’s no reason not to. Even if you don’t use my recipe, making cranberry sauce from scratch is well worth it.

And here’s one tip regardless of which recipe you use. Getting the sauce to thicken and take on the right consistency requires that the cranberries simmer for at least 10 minutes. That is how long it takes to release the pectin – the natural jelling ingredient – from the fruit. As long as you cook it for long enough for the cranberries to pop, you should be good.

I wanted my new cranberry sauce to be heavy with fruit, like jam; but also tart and sweet, and with a depth of flavor you can’t get with white sugar alone. I achieved this by adding dried apricots and dried cherries for their sweetness and texture. As a result, I was able to reduce the recommended amount of white sugar.

I used a combination of fresh squeezed orange juice, port wine and balsamic vinegar instead of water, creating layers of flavor and complexity that cook down and infuse into each of the sour berries. Once the berries start to pop – my favorite stage of the recipe – I add a pinch of salt and warm autumn spices, including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

This fruit-filled cranberry chutney is good hot, room temperature or cold and will brighten any holiday table. You also can make it up to a week ahead.

CRANBERRY CHUTNEY WITH PORT

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 16

Two 12-ounce bags fresh cranberries, washed and picked through

Zest and Juice of 1 large orange (about ½ cup of juice)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup port wine

1 cup sugar

1 cup dried Turkish apricots, cut into strips

1 cup dried cherries

Pinch salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large, heavy pot, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, balsamic vinegar, port and sugar. Bring to low boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add the apricots, cherries and salt.

Making sure the cranberries don’t burn, continue cooking over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries start to pop. Add the nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, then stir well to combine. Continue cooking on low until thick, about another 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 23 g sugar; 1 g protein; 20 mg sodium.

Elizabeth Karmel is a grilling and Southern foods expert and executive chef at Hill Country Barbecue Market restaurants in New York and Washington, as well as Hill Country Chicken in New York. She is the author of three cookbooks, including “Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned.”

Elizabeth Karmel

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
     
    Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

    Celebrate the magic of Christmas

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

     
     
    Safe streets task force work nets 3

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

    Santas have busy week at schools

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Mosquito abatement district board has opening

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
     
    Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    US / World

    Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Rubio, other Congressional Cubans step up Obama criticism

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    California’s top utility regulator defends record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    San Francisco Bay Bridge fasteners not in danger of failing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    CHP, Oakland in tiff over plainclothes officers at protests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    ‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    European court rules obesity can be a disability

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    .

    Opinion

     
    America’s response to the torture report shameful

    By Clive Crook | From Page: A11

    Another look at school bonds

    By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

    News of the day strikes a chord

    By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

     
    Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

    .

    Entertainment

    Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Review: ‘The Hobbit’ wraps with a Middle Earth melee

    By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

     
    Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Raiders defense depleted by injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

    39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

    By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

    Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    ‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

     
    This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Business

    Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

     
    Dow industrials have their best day in three years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Obituaries

    Dominic C. Scolaro

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Travis Curt Price

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Jennie Ponce Reyes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Lisa Dee McHughes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics