Tag Archives: cranberry

Ginger Cranberry Chutney

I never cared much for cranberry sauce until I tried out my grandmother’s suggestion to make a recipe with fresh cranberries.  Aside from the brightness of flavors and use of a whole orange for zest, the star of the show was the crystalized ginger.  I was an instant convert.

Many years later, upon reading through Amanda Hesser’s NYT Cookbook, I came across a chutney recipe that seemed to contain all of my favorite fall flavors.  I decided to tweak it a bit and again make crystalized ginger the star of the show.  The result was a lush, bright sauce that served the perfect stand-in for that canned cranberry nonsense. Continue reading Ginger Cranberry Chutney

Classic Stuffing

Classic Stuffing © Photo by Angela GunderIn the powerplay for key plate location and eating supremacy, stuffing is my champion well beyond Thanksgiving.  Don’t get me wrong – I adore mashed potatoes, roast turkey, string beans and a biblical-worthy proclamation of gravy over all.  But at the end of the day, the one dish that I jones about above all others is glorious stuffing.

For a goodly while, I’ve been taking part in (if not orchestrating) the Thanksgiving meal.  I can remember the first time I was allowed in the kitchen to help out my paternal grandmother make sweet potatoes, and what a gift it was.  It was like a vote of confidence that I was old enough to help out with the cooking (and thus, not going to eff things up).  The meal itself was full of such history, from the family recipe for Carolina-style cornbread to two special versions of dressing, my favorite one with oysters.  When it came to my making the meal myself years later, I carried with me the memories as much as the flavors and ingredients.  This stuffing was less a recipe and more an extension of my favorite type of cooking – completely unfussy ingredients turning into deliciousness with fail-proof techniques.  My hope is that if ever you end up cooking this meal for you and yours, and you don’t already have a beloved stuffing recipe, that maybe you’ll try this one out for inclusion in the pantheon of cherished Thanksgiving favorites.  It’s really that simple and lovely that you’ll be happy to make it a part of your fam.


Recipe for

Classic Stuffing

2 bags of Pepperidge Farm stuffing (I prefer the crumbs to the cubes, but either works)
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
1 large onion
2 apples
1 cup of craisins
6 c. of chicken stock
2 sprigs of sage
4 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp. of white pepper
1 tsp. of black pepper
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 stick of butter plus 2 tbs.
1 tbs. of olive oil

Begin by chopping your carrots, onion, celery and apples – I like to just throw everything in the food processor and chop into a rough dice.  Stem and chop your sage and thyme.  Set the herbs and veggies aside.

In a saucepan, warm your stock with 1 stick of the butter, white pepper, black pepper and salt.  Add the craisins and allow to reconstitute.  Let it hang out while you prep your veggies.

In a large skillet, add the 2 tbs. of butter and 1 tbs. of olive oil.  Add the veggies and herbs and cook until softened, but not browned.  Add the veggies to a large mixing bowl and stir in the stuffing.  Pour the broth over the stuffing and stir to moisten.  Turn out into a greased casserole dish.

Bake stuffing on 375° for 35-45 minutes, or until browned on top.  Serve on a prime spot on your dinner plate.

Cranberry Relish

The much-aligned cranberry gets a bad wrap – only typically broken out at the holidays in the form of a canned cylinder of fright, these tart lovelies are so much more.  A long while back, my paternal grandmother decided to have a more cooperative Thanksgiving and assigned the kids recipes to bring.  My sister and I were assigned a Cranberry Relish recipe that she had snipped from a magazine.  The recipe itself seemed kind of wacky as we were making it, from the use of a whole orange (peel, pith and all) to the use of crystalized ginger, which we had never heard of at the time and had to look up (and this was well before “Google it” became a catch phrase).  Turns out the spicy treats were considered candy in Australia and could be purchased with the other McCormick spices in the baking aisle.  Who knew?

Well, knowledge begets power and powerful that first batch of relish was in transforming our opinions of the lowly cranberry.  Once an afterthought next to the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and green beans, this relish had star quality.  It’s ingenious in its ability to freshen up the heavy meal and enliven your palette.  Best of all, it requires not a lick of cooking – just pulse everything in the food processor, pour out into a bowl and put it on the table.  Done.  For such freshness and flavor with absolutely no work, those cans of cranberry gelatin are looking mighty good for target practice right about now.

Recipe for

Cranberry Relish

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 small orange
1 tbs. of crystallized ginger (candied ginger) pieces
1/3 to 1/2 c. of sugar, to taste

Cut the orange in half and then into 1 inch pieces.  Add all ingredients to the food processor and pulse until it forms a chunky relish.  Pour mixture into a bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.  Store any leftovers in the fridge.