Thursday, January 1, 2009

Flippant Culinary Style - Cranberry Sauces from Xmas 2008

This year was similar to many years past in that I was requested to bring vegetable dishes to the Christmas Eve Hooper dinner. One of the Hoopers put in a special request for my cranberry chutney. However, this simple request revealed a defect in my flippant culinary style. My passion is recipes, writing them, reading them, finding them. But not filing them. I hate filing. My motto when it comes to paperwork is: You know when it is time to file things when the item you were looking for was found in the 'to be filed' pile. Then, and only then do I even consider wasting my time stuffing paper into over crowded files.
This is the first time my office paperwork policy has tripped up my culinary world. I have no idea to which cranberry chutney recipe she refers. Bummer really, that I cannot keep track of such things. Each year I make what sounds good, looks good in a magazine, is sent to me by a friend, found on a website, referred to in a cookbook... whatever inspires me at the moment. I have no recipe loyalty, I make what I want each day. Once in a while I revisit favorite recipes, but in general, I'm always looking forward to something new. I don't have time to cut out, collate, collect, categorize, and certainly not FILE any recipe.

So, in an effort to fulfill the cranberry chutney request, I searched online and found two really nice recipes to bring to the Christmas Eve event. One I have used before, it's a recipe I heard on National Public Radio several years ago. It's a horseradish concoction that is excellent with roast beef.

The second cranberry recipe is simply one I found when I googled 'recipe, cranberry, chutney'. I liked the looks of it, the comments at the website were positive, so I used it. It received rave reviews by the Hoopers. It would be excellent on ice cream and went great with the turkey.

In an effort to keep track of things, and to be able to answer when someone asks: What was in that cranberry stuff you brought to the Hooper Christmas Eve Party last year?, here are the recipes.

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
1 bag whole raw cranberries, washed
1 small white onion, cut into large dice
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar
Put the cranberries and the onion into a food processor and pulse to a course puree. Add everything else and mix. The color will be shocking pink.
Keep refrigerated until ready to use. May be frozen and left a little slushy for a unique texture.
Makes 1-1/2 pints.
Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Apple
1 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 cup apples - peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
In a medium saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Add the cranberries, apples, cider vinegar, raisins and spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes stirring often.
Pour mixture into a mixing bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce. Cool to room temperature and serve or cover and refrigerate. Bring chutney to room temperature before serving.

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