Cranberry Blog (oops...I mean Bog)

Good morning.  I did re-test my Spiced Cranberry Chutney and here it is.  You can make it with frozen cranberries (that don't need to be thawed) or berries fresh from the package.  Did you know that you can freeze cranberries up to 9 months?  (Just learned that myself.)  And you can refrigerate this chutney up to 3 weeks, probably longer.  Many cookbook authors, food stylists, and magazine writers keep lots of cranberries in their freezer because you just never know when you need them.  I won't disclose the magazine, but I just submitted a proposal for Thanksgiving dinner 2011! and will need lots of cranberries for testing sometime next summer (yes, 9 months from now.)

Spiced Cranberry Chutney 1 medium garlic clove 1 medium yellow onion, about 3-1/2 ounces 12 ounces cranberries 2/3 cup golden raisins 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/3 cup cider or rice vinegar 1 tablespoon mustard seed 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves pinch red pepper flakes 3/4 to 1 cup finely diced ripe mango

Put garlic and peeled onion in food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.  Transfer to a large saucepan.  Add cranberries, raisins, 3/4 cup sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cloves, pepper flakes and a large pinch of salt.  Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and place cover askew.  Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until chutney is very thick.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and mango.   Stir well, cover and let sit until room temperature. Stir, cover and refrigerate until very cold.  Makes about 3-1/2 cups

And here's one more signature use of cranberries.  It will fill a winter morning with mouthwatering perfume as it gets drizzled over thick slices of hot french toast. It is also delicious poured on freshly fallen snow.  Really.

Warm Cranberry-Maple Syrup (adapted from Christmas 1-2-3) 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 cup pure maple syrup 1 cinnamon stick or split vanilla bean

Place all the ingredients in a small heavy saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup water and stir.  Bring to a boil, then immediately lower heat and simmer 15 minutes. Strain through a coarse-mesh sieve, pressing down on the cranberries to extract juice.  Serve warm.  Makes 1 cup