I wasn’t planning to write anything about Thanksgiving, because there are already so many terrific recipes, menus and suggestions about that great tradition and all its spin-offs. But as I was stirring up this cranberry chutney, it looked so lovely I was inspired to take a photo and write a quick post.
Ever notice how many of the foods we associate with the holiday–like cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and green beans–are brightly colored? Both colors and spices, another association with autumn/winter holidays, add cheer to the dark season.
I like the tart taste of nearly every kind of cranberry sauce, relish and chutney there is (with a possible exception of that horseradish one), and often in the winter I make a simple cranberry sauce or a cranberry-orange sauce, just cooking cranberries with some sugar, orange juice and orange rind for 10 minutes or so. Last night I made brown rice/wild rice pilaf and baked acorn squash for dinner, and served some of that basic cranberry sauce on the side.
For the special day, though, I buy a bottle of port (or use the rest of last year’s bottle) and make the spicy jewel-like chutney. Whether I’m having turkey or not, it seems to go with the spirit of the day.
I think the recipe came from a food magazine many years ago. Maybe the now-defunct Gourmet? I often add some fresh grated ginger or a little more cinnamon or some orange or as I did this time, a small Meyer lemon, rind and all, cut in tiny pieces. But there’s no need to go far afield here. The original version is just fine too. And cranberry chutney or not, happy Thanksgiving!
- 3 cups (1 12-ounce package) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 medium size onion, minced
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 cups port
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- a pinch of salt
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is thick and reduced to about 3 cups, around 30 minutes. If you like it spicier, add grated fresh ginger to taste. Serve or cover and chill up to two weeks.