Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce with Kumquat and Jalapeno
We make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving every year, and every year at the end of the meal there's a bowl full of cranberry sauce left-over. It's not that we don't like cranberries; they have a great flavor that I make user of in stuffing, cakes and drinks. Cranberry sauce, though, is a bit one-dimensional, so I've been on a quest to come up with a version that is more food than Thanksgiving table ornament.
After several trials, I think I've come up with some small additions to a traditional cranberry sauce recipe that really give it new life. I added roasted and chopped jalapeños for a little heat, kumquat zest for a touch of citrus, and brown sugar to mellow out the sweetness with hints of caramel. I knew I was on to something because Lulu was eating it all by itself!
If you're like me and the idea of cranberry sauce has been more appealing than the reality, I can tell you that with a few simple modifications you may actually come to enjoy some cranberry sauce with your turkey.
Yields: 1-3/4 cups1 jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, about 3 cups
1 tablespoons kumquat zest (or any other citrus zest), finely chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water, + 2 tablespoons if needed
1/2 teaspoon imitation Brandy extract (optional)
Roasting the jalapeño pepper: Cut the stem off the pepper. Wash it, pat it dry and brush it with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Clean the pepper using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed it and finely chop the flesh.
For the cranberry sauce: Wash the cranberries. Pick out and discard any bad ones (discolored, shriveled or bruised). Place the cranberries in a saucepan; add the kumquat zest, jalapeño, brown sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon and salt. Add 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until the cranberries have burst. Stir frequently to prevent the cranberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of water if the mixture becomes too thick. Finish with the brandy extract (if used). Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Allow to cool completely. Cover and chill overnight.
Serve at room temperature and garnish with sliced kumquats.
When washing and soaking the cranberries, also discard the ones that sink.
No need to blend the sauce; I like to leave the whole cranberries as is.
I added brandy extract to make it kid-friendly but you can flavor the cranberry sauce with 1 tablespoon of real Brandy or Cognac.Published By: on November 20, 2009.