Every year I make this cranberry sauce. It's amazing, and this year I improved on it by greatly increasing the cayenne pepper — what the hell, the kids never eat the cranberry sauce, anyway — and using cranberries that have been soaking in vodka, orange zest, and sugar syrup for 5 weeks for the homemade cranberry liqueur. So the recipe looked something like this:
Garlic-Ginger Cranberry Chutney
- 2 or 3 inches fresh ginger, or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger goo that comes out of a tube (I couldn't find fresh this year)
- 6 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 or 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds chopped fresh cranberries that have been soaking in vodka and orange zest, strained
- 1 teaspoon-ish salt
- ground black pepper
Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small pot. Bring to a simmer, simmer on medium flame about 15 minutes or until there is about half a cup of liquid left.
Add cranberries. Mix and bring to a simmer. Simmer on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes.
Cool, store and refrigerate.
The cranberry liqueur, by the way, ROCKED. I originally envisioned pre-dinner cranberry-limeade cocktails, but the liqueur ended up being pretty awesome on its own. Next year I have to remember to add ginger to the recipe for some flavor simpatico throughout the night.
This was also the first year I ever brined a turkey (free-range and organically grown; as Amy said, "It had one bad day"). I used a recipe from Susiej's blog, and it turned out really phenomenal. This is by far the best turkey I've ever made, and maybe even the best I've ever tasted. Crazy good.
The down-side to using a brined, organic turkey was that it wasn't terribly fatty and didn't make a whole lot of pan drippings. Nina made a great gravy with what there was. Her secret ingredient, which I was totally dubious about but it was fabulous, was a tablespoon or so of tomato paste. I have to remember that for next year, too, and to have some chicken stock on-hand.
Nina took a bunch of pictures of the ensuing food coma: