Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cranberry Relish — Not Just for Thanksgiving

Cranberry relish
Fresh cranberries are in season, so it’s time to start making things with cranberries. The easiest one to make is fresh cranberry relish, which is so easy to make that there’s no reason not to, nor should you wait until you’re roasting a turkey to have cranberry relish. It would go perfectly well with just about any sort of poultry, including plain old roast chicken.[1]

If I may digress, I’m well aware that roast chicken scares some people, though I’ve never been sure why. It’s not pâté de canard en croûte,[2] and even that isn’t all that scary. Take a bird, throw it in the oven. Yeah, once you’re used to that, you can do things like put oil and herbs on the skin, you can truss it up, and so forth. In the end, it’s all just throwing a bird in the oven and letting it cook (I like a nice, hot 375° oven). And while it’s cooking, you can make cranberry relish in just a few minutes.

No food processor
can hack up a whole orange.
Okay, I know, people have lives. You can actually make it just about any time, even at the last minute, though it is better with some time for the flavors to marry (and the orange to become stained red with cranberry juice). It’s quick! It’s easy!

The recipe is (frequently) on the back of the bag, but not on the most recent one I bought; it had a recipe for whole berry cranberry sauce[3]. But you can have whole berry cranberry sauce anytime! It doesn’t require fresh cranberries and it keeps. The only way to make cranberry relish is to start with a bag of fresh cranberries.

There isn’t much else involved. Here’s the entire ingredient list:
One bag fresh cranberries, washed.
1 medium-to-large navel orange
4 ounces honey
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
You can use a ¼ – ½ cup sugar instead of the honey, but the sugar takes longer, as it has to really spend some time dissolving. Even with the honey, it gets better over time, but with honey you really can use it as soon as you mix it.

Remember to get rid of any bad ones.
Wash the cranberries, picking through them to remove any bad ones (typically soft ones). Put them into the bowl of a food processor and chop them fine. Remove cranberries to a bowl. Cut up the orange, then chop it fine in the food processor. Add to the cranberries. Mix in the honey (you can do it by weight by setting the bowl on a scale, zeroing the scale before you add the honey). If desired, add two tablespoons orange liqueur. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.

This is perishable, so store it in the refrigerator, and use it over the next few days. It never lasts in my house.

And remember, after the end of the year, the fresh cranberries are all gone, not to be seen again until next fall. Make cranberry relish while you can. It’s not just for Thanksgiving. And think of how expert you’ll be by Thanksgiving if you start making it now. You’ll be ready to tweak the recipe to your own taste.

  1. I don’t think it would set off well against beef or lamb. You’d really need cranberry ketchup for that, but one cranberry dish at a time, okay?  ↩
  2. Duck pâté cooked in pastry. I haven’t made it, but it doesn’t seem much harder than just plain old duck pâté, which is labor intensive, but not actually difficult.  ↩
  3. I’ll get to that too.  ↩

You can follow my blog on Twitter (@impofthediverse) or on Facebook. If you like this post, share it with your friends. If you have a comment just for me, e-mail me at
This blog runs solely on ego! Follow this blog! Comment on this post! Let me know that you want to read more of it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...