Two Kinds Of Cranberry Sauce

CranberriesAll right.  So I hesitate to say that I am back, but my kitchen is so close to being finished (and then cooking can recommence!) that I am getting extremely antsy.  Wouldn’t you be?  Its spring here in Illinois and I am desperate to use the last of the winter citrus to make lemon pudding cake, orange marmalade, and lemon rosemary cornmeal cookies.  Cute little butter cookies in the shape of flowers, Easter eggs, and bunnies might possibly be on the menu, if my kids have any say in the matter.  Then I want to move on from winter and start grilling again!  My friend has this amazing recipe for pork chops that I have been super excited to share with you.  It is one of those recipes that you are going to want to make over and over.  We are going to be eating them all summer.  I also got an early birthday surprise from my husband (a Canon EOS 7D), and need to start experimenting with the lenses on some yummy food!

I had a small tumor removed from my left hand last week so the bandages are slowing my usually lightening fast typing skills.  I am…like…a ninja at a keyboard.  But I get my counters and sink this coming Friday so bandages or no, I plan on taking advantage of my new space and am going to cook a huge turkey dinner for my family and some friends.  All the trimmings people!  Mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and if I can find the right fruit, a gallette.  I have hundreds (or thousands) of recipes to try, so BRING IT ON!  I have been kept from my kitchen for too long!

So what, you might ask, am I doing blogging when I still have extremely limited means and can’t preparing anything more exciting than peanut butter sandwiches?

Well, I was cleaning out my picture files and I found this one of two different cranberry sauces that I make for Thanksgiving.  For some reason, I photographed the food and then never blogged about it.  Several years ago I saw a great recipe for cranberry sauce and was amazed at how easy it was.  By far, the fastest and most simple holiday recipe I have ever made.  And what goes good with cranberry sauce?  Ham.  When do the majority of Americans eat ham?  Easter.  And its right around the corner.  Look at me!  I’m ahead of the game!

Words cannot express how fantastic these two recipes are.  One has a smooth and rich flavor with a wonderful citrus background.  The other is tangy and sweet, and I must say, totally killer on sandwiches.  My friend Ashley requires me to leave the leftovers with her every Thanksgiving just so she can smear it on a turkey sandwich.  And she doesn’t even like cranberry sauce!  Yup.  These are that good.
CranberriesCranberry Sauce with Port
Adapted from http://www.uscranberries.com/
This sauce is the most beautiful shade of deep red.  And it couldn’t be easier.

1 (12oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ c sugar
½ cup ruby Port
Zest of one orange
1/4 c orange juice

Bring all ingredients, except the OJ, to a simmer in a medium sauce pan.  Let it bubble gently, stirring occasionally, until all the cranberries have burst and it starts to thicken slightly.  Remove from heat and stir in orange juice.  Cool completely.
Note: Can be made up to a week ahead.  Store tightly covered in the fridge.

Cranberry-Mustard Relish
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 (12 oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/3 c sugar
1/4 c Dijon mustard
2 T whole grain Dijon mustard

Add cranberries and sugar to a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Cook, low and bubbly, until all the sugar dissolves and the cranberries burst.  Cool completely and stir in both of the mustards.
Note: Sauce can be made up to one week ahead.  Store tightly covered in the fridge.