This weekend one of our friends had a Thanksgiving party. I was going to make the biscuits from Red Lobster (the only reason why people I know go there!) and this cool recipe for snickerdoodle bars with pumpkin (neither of which I could eat, oh well), but we didn't reply fast enough and people had already signed up for bread and dessert. I knew my sweet potato risotto would be a hit, and this time I made it with vegetable stock for the vegetarians, but the other thing that she said she needed was a cranberry dish. Great... I haven't cooked cranberries before. I went on a mad dash for cranberry recipes. I was going to do one of the ones from Bon Appetit with port wine and dried black mission figs (even though I didn't know where I would find the ingredients) but then I saw that smittenkitchen made them, and didn't like them, so I looked for another recipe.
I have never worked with fresh cranberries before, I don't even remember ever having handled one. I had health issues as a child that made me drink gallons of cranberry juice so I hated cranberries up until this year when I tried crasins and really liked them for their sweet/sour mix. My mom said that she made fresh ones when we were little, but I couldn't remember it. The dish turned out awesome and had a great underlying ginger flavor to mix in with the tartness (one of the people asked me at the gathering what I did to make them tart- they're cranberries!!). The sad part is that, although people enjoyed them, they were sentimental for the cranberries in the can.... So next time I am supposed to come with a few cans and be good? That is weird, fresh is always better in my opinion!
Cranberry Sauce With Crystalized Ginger
From Bon Appetit
1 1/2 pounds of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of water
1 Tbs of grated orange peel
1 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 cup of minced crystalized ginger
Mix first 6 ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to boil and stir while sugar is dissolving. Keep boiling until the cranberries pop open (you can tell when it is done visually) which takes around 5 minutes. Let cool then mix in the crystalized ginger.