Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Having international students during Christmas season means that I sometimes get to incorporate their traditions into our time together. Here are 2 of Annkatrin's Xmas traditions: an advent candle that is burned each evening during the meal and a "smoking" wooden shepherd. He "smokes" incense which unfortunately means that I can't use him because of my sensitivity to scent. But he is pretty cute on my table. And I have the satisfaction of conforming this staunch German into a non-smoker!
One of my annual traditions is the making of the cranberry sauce. But I've accumulated a number of different recipes for chutneys; and with the great price I paid for a large bag of cranberries, I decided to give it a go. I made three different recipes. (I like to give some as gifts).
The first -- and my favorite -- is a citrus/cranberry preserve: cranberries, orange, lemon and lime chunks flavored with the zest and a touch of cinnamon and allspice.
The color here is gorgeous.
And the flavor is wonderful!
This could easily be used as a regular cranberry sauce. (Think of how delicious this would be on a cold turkey sandwich!) Or you could just spread it on your toast. Yum yum!
Next we have a cranberry/apple compote: tangy Granny Smith apples, fresh & dried cranberries, both white & brown sugar, finely diced onion, apple cider vinegar and cinnamon & ginger.
This has a marvelous flavor and would be perfect on top of a baked brie, I think.
Look at those lovely little chunks of apple and again, that rosy glow from the fresh cranberries.
The last chutney I made is a dried apricot, date and ginger chutney. This has the addition of garlic, a touch of cayenne, golden raisins and what was supposed to be red wine vinegar. Alas, other than 1/4 cup of the necessary 1.5 cups, I was out of red wine vinegar. So, I substituted a little Japanese wine vinegar and an amazing Black Cherry balsamic that I have and topped it off with good old regular vinegar.
This is thick and rich and utterly delicious. The recipe says to top meat, chicken or fish with this chutney. I'm looking forward to trying it tomorrow night with my pork chops.
And, of course, these will become even more tasty as they mature a little.
If anyone would like a recipe, just send me a note.
In the meantime, tell me what you've been cooking up for Christmas?