Guest Author - Jason Hodge
I'm a sucker for cranberries and the sauces that include them. It's been my tradition for a few years running that every time cranberry season comes around, I would create a sauce that spotlights them and pushes the envelope on the traditional cranberry sauce. This year's no different. Here's what I did and how I did it!
I love cranberries for many reasons; their health benefits being the highest on the list. When I find a food or food item that boasts great health benefits, my first mission is to figure out a way to include them in everyday or not so everyday, dishes. Every year when I play with the season's cranberry harvest I try to keep it simple, but always want it to make a lasting impression. Last season I made a limed version of the cranberry sauce. This year I did something different and kept it all in the family with a gentle kiss from the East Asian Tropics. I doubled the cranberry experience.
This may sound uneventful...
Did I just dump in two times the cranberries the recipe called for? [What recipe? I don't use'm.] ;~)
Did I cook'em down in a cranberry reduction? [No... But that's a pretty good idea! I may have to do that one next!]
Did I reduce the moisture content to half of its norm? [That would be more like cranberry paste or a cranberry demi-glace. ...Not really!]
Well, just what in the world did I do?
I added dried cranberries to the mix.
I know... it may not sound like much, but oh it delivered. Well you know me. I'm always trying to find the healthiest, guilt-free ways of making our tried and true, so here's what I did different this season.
Instead of adding the white sugar [which, by the way, I never use] I added the low GI, glycemic index, palm sugar. It's a buttery sweet, very mellow and easy going down. It balances the sharpness of the cranberries
without breaking its tart, astringent nature, making it perfect for those meals where there's more fatty foods present and a need for digestive assistance.
I've included the simple recipe and ingredients below.
a sauce pan [2 quart capacity]
fresh cranberries [enough to fill your pan - I used around 3 cups]
sea salt [just a pinch to bring out the natural flavors of the cranberries]
palm sugar [to taste - this is totally your call - I used almost 1 cup]
1/2 cup organic dried cranberries
Step 1. Place everything, except for your dried cranberries, into your sauce pan. Fresh cranberries first, salt and sugar.
Step 2. Heat through, while stirring, until cranberries begin to burst and give up their juices. [Takes just a few minutes.]
Step 3. Stir in your dried cranberries and simmer until they're tender.
What you'll get with this are sweeter/tart bursts of cranberry in a sweet/tart sauce. It's the perfect accompaniment to most any rich meal.
Let me know how this one works out for you!
As always, it's my pleasure sharing these simple, tasty recipes with you. Until next time...