Every year we look forward to Thanksgiving day and start planning well in advance. The boys are still only slightly interested in the holiday, though they seem to enjoy turkey more than they used to. One of my favorite parts of the holiday meal, even more than the turkey, is the cranberries, but you would never know if you came to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. Every year I make cranberry chutney or some kind of cranberry side dish, and about half the time I forget to serve it along with dinner. It remains in the refrigerator, forgotten and forlorn while everyone dives into the turkey, potatoes, gravy, beans, salad, and rolls.
This year I promise myself that I will remember to serve it, especially since I tried a new recipe with port. Sipping a glass of port while making it was half the fun, and I may have to make another batch on Thanksgiving day because I doubt this one will last until then. It’s technically a side dish, but it’s dessert, too, and I can easily imagine spooning this over cheesecake.
It’s an easy make ahead side, just store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
[Updated November 15, 2009.]
CRANBERRIES WITH ORANGE ZEST AND PORT
Adapted from Food & Wine, 1998.
Makes about 4-1/2 cups.
large deep skillet with lid
1 cup (240 mil) ruby red port
6 cups fresh cranberries (1-1/2 pounds/680 g), picked over and rinsed
1-1/2 cups (263 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fine orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a large skillet, bring the port to a boil over high heat. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sugar, orange zest and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture returns to a simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool before serving. Garnish with strips of orange zest.