Monday, November 21, 2016

Cranberry Sauce Is So Last Year

I have never been a fan of cranberry sauce. I didn't get it. I didn't want it. And I definitely didn't want it anywhere near my turkey. My husband on the other hand is a fan. When there is an opportunity for a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, that's his choice. Worse yet, he is a fan of canned cranberry sauce, you know the stuff that doesn't have any cranberries in it? Well, I had to figure this cranberry sauce thing out. Why? Because I like to make it! It's fun, it's pretty and now I have found one that I like to eat.

Cranberry Chutney

1 (medium) lemon
12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 ounces of crystallized ginger (approximately 1/2 cup, diced)
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped (white preferred)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a non-reactive saucepan, zest the lemon, being careful to not get any of the bitter white pith. Peel the lemon, remove the seeds and dice the lemon into 1/4-inch pieces. (If you cannot peel the lemon, cut away the skin and pith).

Put everything left on the list of ingredients in the pot with the lemon pieces and zest.  ring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thick and the majority of the cranberries have burst, 10-15 minutes.

Cool completely and remove cinnamon stick before serving. Chutney can be made up to 1 week before the big event.

Original recipe from "Thanksgiving 101" by Rick Rodgers

Must-Have Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving

My Mother was a wonderful pie maker. I wish I could say I learned everything I know about pies from her. The sad truth is I wasn't much of a pie person growing up. I wanted cake. I thought cake was the height of sophistication and elegance, the darling of the dessert tray. My Mom was not a cake baker.

But when it comes to pecan pie, there was one important lesson I learned from my Mom:

The best pecan pies in the world all have one thing in common: they don't stint on pecans!

This pie may or may not sound like it has a lot of pecans, but I promise you, it does. So now that you know the secret of a good pecan pie, here's a recipe my Mom enjoyed when she came to our home for Thanksgiving.

1/2 recipe Pie Crust in a 9" pie pan
4 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place pan with pie crust on a cookie sheet.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add everything except the pecans (and the topping); eggs-salt. Stir then add the pecans.

Pour mixture into the crust and bake 40 minutes on the cookie sheet.

While the pie is baking, make the topping.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine all the topping ingredients except for the nuts. Cook 2-3 minutes stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the nuts and remove from heat.

When the pie has baked 40 minutes, remove it from the oven and carefully spread topping over pie.

Bake pie for 10-15 minutes longer. Topping should be bubbly and golden brown.

Cool pie completely before serving. Serve with whipped cream spiced with a touch of bourbon if desired.