Cranberries – Out of the bag – Part 1 – Sauce #1

November 4th, 2009 / Comments 4

This post is the first in a series of four. Check back tomorrow for part two.

Interior variations 01 Cranberries   Out of the bag   Part 1   Sauce #1

The first time I saw cranberry sauce I had no idea what the red, wiggly disc wedged between mashed potatoes and a slice of turkey could be. With a mother from England and a father from Eastern Europe, beets were the only red food I knew and they were soaked in vinegar and didn’t wiggle. This mystery food was cold, sweet and looked like Jell-O. Never having seen a cranberry, I assumed that jellied cranberry started as a powder that was mixed with water and cooled until it was a brightly colored, quivering mass.

I discovered cranberry sauce with whole berries a few years before I saw bags of fresh cranberries at the market. When I used the recipe on the bag, the resulting sauce made with uncooked berries and oranges had more interesting flavor and texture than the canned version. This sauce was a step in the right direction but I wanted more – more variety, more interesting flavors.

My next experiment with cranberry sauce was inspired by a jar of Cumberland sauce. I wanted to mimic the spicy hit of this sauce seasoned with ginger and mustard but I had an impossible deadline: guests were arriving in ten minute. Limited in time and by the contents of the pantry, I managed to create a spicy, crowd-pleasing sauce with three ingredients in less than five minutes. Here’s how I did it.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

I used a spoon to break up one can of whole berry cranberry sauce in a serving bowl then I stirred in two tablespoons of prepared horseradish and the zest of one lime. The white flakes of the horseradish set this sauce apart from the unmodified sauce on the table. At dinner the spicy sauce disappeared quickly. I serve this sauce year round with meat loaf, baked ham, roast pork or chicken.

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Spicy Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 T prepared horseradish
  • one lime
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