Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Zesty Cranberry Relish

Not just for holiday dinners, enjoy this cranberry relish any time.

Cranberry Relish a la Martha Stewart adds colorful zest to the traditional brown Thanksgiving dinner. Think about how many tables feature a browned beige bird surrounded by pale mashed potatoes, brown stuffing, brown gravy and pale beige rolls. Cranberries look festive, but can disappoint flavorwise. There is no disappointment with this recipe - Martha got it right! The bold flavors of onion, ginger, mint, jalapeno and citrus create an engaging fiesta for the tastebuds.

The dish is somewhere between a condiment and a side dish, tasty however you use it. Serve it as an accompaniment to roast turkey or chicken, or pair it with pork, lamb or beef. It's a winner on turkey sandwiches or inside panini with turkey and havarti. 

Leftover relish is rarely a problem in my kitchen, it disappears quickly. (I nibble on spoonful after spoonful whenever I think about it.) Hmmmm, I could tweak the recipe and try canning a chutney-like version of the cranberry relish. No, this month I'll make batch after batch of the fresh recipe.

Martha Stewart’s Cranberry-Orange Relish

Martha Stewart’s Living, November 1995
makes 2+ cups

2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
1/4 cup diced red onion (half a medium onion)
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or substitute 1 medium poblano)
2 TB fresh lime juice
2 blood oranges* or navel oranges, peeled and sectioned, juices reserved
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup sugar
2 stalks celery, peeled to remove strings, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup pecans, toasted, broken in pieces
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsley chopped**

1. Place cranberries in food processor and pulse to chop coarsely, about 5 pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl. Do the same with half a red onion.
2. Add onion, jalapeno, lime juice, orange sections and juice, ginger, sugar, and celery. Mix gently. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Just before serving, add mint and pecans and toss to combine.
*  Blood oranges give the relish GREAT color, but the flavor is the same with navel.
**You can substitute fresh basil or cilantro, or even use bottled mint sauce, but fresh mint leaves work best.

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