First, a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations were filled with tryptophan, carb comas, plenty of vino / brewskies / whatever your beverage fancy, and the love and companionship of your family & friends. GKG was on a bit of a pre-holiday hiatus (hey, man, it takes a long time to concoct a T-Givs menu and prep an absurd number of side dishes. Seriously, way too many. Like, 5 more than necessary. #excessmakesthestomachgrowlarger?), but now we’re back in full swing. Even if we’re now post-Thanksgiving, these recipes can be eaten and enjoyed any time of year. Happy Eating!
The humble cranberry, according to an interesting documentary I saw earlier this week on The History Channel (What?? History Channel programming that isn’t about Hitler or aliens?? You’re talking nonsense, woman — you, thinking to yourself), was named after early settlers’ observations that its flower looked like the beak of a crane. Crane-berry became cranberry, and silly mis-identifying Puritans became history. Cool!
In the meantime, cranberries are delicious. We typically see them at Thanksgiving, but they’re in abundance and ready to nosh upon all throughout this time of year. I had two cranberry recipes on the docket for Thursday’s festivities — Mom’s Fabulous Cranberry Bread and Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce in all of its decadent glory. (For earlier Thanksgiving entries, check out menu planning and sweet potatoes.)
This Cranberry Bread is perfect for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. It also pairs deliciously well with T-givs dinner or leftovers later in the day, and should last several days if wrapped in foil and kept in the refrigerator. It is also chock full — and I mean CHOCK full; we’re talking 2 cups, people — of cranberries. Moist, nutty and tasty, it’s a holiday favorite from my childhood that stands the test of time.
Mom’s Fabulous Cranberry Bread — makes 1 loaf. Easily doubled.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup shortening (can substitute vegetable oil in same amount)
- 1 tsp orange rind, finely grated
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 2 cups chopped cranberries
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Grease a standard-sized loaf pan with cooking spray or butter / margarine.
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt. (Sifting optional.) Cut in shortening until mixture looks like cornmeal. (If using oil, simply mix until well-combined.)
- In a separate bowl, combine OJ and orange rind with beaten egg. Pour wet ingredient mixture into dry ingredient mixture, mixing just enough to combine. Gently fold in nuts and cranberries.
- Pour / spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan. Spread corners and sides slightly higher than center of loaf. Bake for one hour, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Make sure it doesn’t get too dry!
The second recipe here is a doozy of deliciousness. For the last few years, my sister has made a divine recipe for cranberry sauce with pinot noir. Determined to make my own for this year’s T-Givs, I hunted across the Interwebs for the same recipe. While what I found — courtesy of the excellent folks at Epicurious — wasn’t exactly hers, it has some killer flavor twists that I just had to try. You’ll love its spicy notes of curry powder, ginger and cinnamon.
Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce — makes 2 to 2 & 1/2 cups of sauce. Best made a day ahead.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups whole cranberries, frozen or fresh
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups pinot noir wine
- 3 tbsp chopped candied ginger (I found this at Whole Foods)
- 1/2 to 1 tsp of curry powder, according to taste
- A pinch of cinnamon OR a pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
Here’s what you do:
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cranberries & ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until berries begin to pop, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and wine, stirring to combine. Cook until mixture bubbles & reduces to approx. 2 and 1/2 cups, or about 15-20 minutes.
- Add candied ginger, curry powder, and cinnamon / five-spice powder, stirring thoroughly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for a few hours, or up to overnight.
I hope these recipes can add to your holiday festivities, or to your leftovers consumption. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend, everyone!
This post is also participating in Homemade Ginger’s Ginger Jamboree.