Posted 11/26 by Mark Wimer, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
When it comes time for Thanksgiving, I think turkey is great, and I love pumpkin pies, but when I'm settling in to eat my midday feast, it is really all about the sauce - the Cranberry sauce, that is. Nothing makes turkey taste better (hot on the plate at lunch, or as a cold sandwich while watching the ball games later on) than a good cranberry sauce.
I'm not talking the nasty canned cranberry sauce with the ripples from the can on it, either. If you want to really enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey, fresh-made cranberry sauce is the only way to go. Here's the good news - it's really easy to make.
Super Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce
- 2 small bags (12 oz) of fresh cranberries
- 2 cups of orange juice (fresh or reconstituted frozen concentrated OJ)
- 1 1/2 TBL of orange peel granules (lemon granules would work too - I use Penzey's orange granules; they are so much easier than zesting an orange or 3 - just dump them in dry, no need to rehydrate for this purpose)
- 2 packed cups of brown sugar
- ~2 cups of water.
Combine ingredients in a sauce pan, with enough water to cover the berries - this is one of the few times I use an aluminum, nonstick coated pan instead of cast iron. Bring to a hard boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring fairly often so as not to burn the sauce onto the bottom of the pan - as the ingredients simmer, the cranberries start popping and the sauce thickens - look out, the popping berries will spit some hot sauce at you. When all the berries are popped, I generally stop and let the sauce cool, depending on how much the sauce has thickened. When you've got the sauce to a consistency you like (it'll become stiffer when it cools, remember), remove from the heat and cool. Transfer to a glass bowl or Tupperware (if you are making this ahead for tomorrow's feast).
My wife likes some cinnamon in her cranberry sauce (which is fine with me) - add 2 or 3 teaspoons but don't overdo it if this idea appeals to you. I usually have some tangerines around at Thanksgiving time (I eat them like crazy at this time of year), and often I'll ream out/squeeze 8 or 10 of them into a bowl, strain through a tea strainer to remove the pips, and add the tangerine juice to my cranberry sauce. Citrusy fruits are good, but stick with orangey-tasting types - I don't think lime would work, for example.
I hope y'all have a fun and joyous Thanksgiving at your house - here's to good food, good friends, and good times! Enjoy!