Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday Dinners: Condiments, Part 1: Cran-Raspberry Relish with Toasted Almonds-

My biggest comfort during most times, as with many of you, relates to food….

I can’t help but focus on my family, and the food of my family, and the beauty of one of my favorite “tools”: the condiment. It was Alexander Smalls (creator of Southern Revival Cooking, chef, entertainer, and singer extraordinaire) who first declared a love of condiments to me; I’ve since been saying the same. Condiments should enhance and complement your dishes. In some cases—as in this one—they’re good enough to eat on their own!

This one—my cran-raspberry relish—has been a family favorite since I started making it (which, honestly, was wow, close to 20 years ago!).  In fact  Sofia, my daughter, always asks for it…with or without something to go with it! When she wasn’t able to make it to Thanksgiving Dinner (she studies in Canada, and, well, they don't have the same schedules as here in the States!),  I made this relish for her, and froze it so that she could have it when she came home…which is exactly what she did.  Though traditionally I serve it alongside roast turkey, it works will with several different grilled or roasted meats and, hmmm…, probably with quinoa, too!

Cran-Raspberry Relish-Topped with Toasted Almonds

Cran-Raspberry Relish
Adapted by  Arlen Gargagliano
from Working Mother Magazine, November 1993

This is a wonderful variation on the traditional cranberry sauce—and one that has been popular in my home since I first made it 19 years ago! This can be made up to three days before serving—but don’t add the almonds until right before serving (they’ll get soggy!).

Makes about 1 quart

1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 medium unpeeled Granny Smith apple, finely diced
1 medium unpeeled Bartlett other green-skinned pear, finely chopped
1 to 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries (or frozen, thawed and drained)
1 tablespoon finely minced orange peel
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted

In a food processor, coarsely chop cranberries using several on/off turns. Transfer to a  large bowl.

In medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook sugar and ½ cup water for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until sugar dissolves and clear syrup forms. Immediately pour hot syrupy over cranberries and mix well.

Add the apple, pear, raspberries, orange peel and nutmeg. Cool, cover, and refrigerate until chilled and slightly thickened. Just before serving, stir in toasted almonds.


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