By Beverly Barbour
Cranberries can roll all over the menu
Once upon a time, not too long ago, cranberries had no choice but to jump into a saucepan with a lot of sugar and transform themselves into a sweet-tart gelatinous sauce whose mission was to add a bit of tartness to the holiday meal and make turkey taste better. Now, the colorful, tangy berries have found their way into all kinds of delicious dishes, all year around.
Anyone who has ever lived in New England carries the indelible memory of the lakes of scarlet berries when the bogs are flooded at harvest time.
Whatever did the Indians do with the tart berries? Dried them, I suppose, as we have only recently begun doing. Aren't dried cranberries a wonderful addition to a stuffing, a salad, a fruitcake?
Serve this fruity ketchup with roast duck, chicken, turkey or lamb. It's very welcome on a poultry burger or combined with mayonnaise on a turkey sandwich. And it keeps for about a month.
1 medium onion, chopped
Simmer onion in water in large heavy saucepan, uncovered, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cranberries and zest and simmer, uncovered, until berries are collapsed, about 10 minutes. Discard zest. Puree berries in a food processor, and then force through a large sieve into saucepan and discard solids. Stir in sugars, 5-spice powder and salt; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to one month. Makes about 3 cups.
* Five-spice powder can be purchased in supermarkets and Asian markets, or you can grind your own to suit your taste. It is a mixture of ground star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel, cloves and cinnamon. It should be pungent, fragrant, spicy and slightly sweet.
A colorful twist on a favorite, old-fashioned dessert.
3 cups peeled and chopped apples Topping:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 11 x 7-inch baking pan. Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and flour and pour into baking pan. Combine topping ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until fruit is tender. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Whipped cream or ice cream flatters this whether served warm or cold.
CANOPENER CRANBERY-CORN RELISH
A no-cook relish that can be prepared two days ahead. Great with turkey or pork.
1/4 cup diced red onions or green scallions
Combine ingredients; cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Makes 3 1/2 cups.
WHOLE CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE
A bundt or angel food cakepan can handle this large recipe.
3/4 cup butter, softened Glaze:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt or angel food pan. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Thoroughly beat in one egg at a time and then beat in almond extract. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Spoon one third of the batter into prepared pan. Distribute one-third of the cranberry sauce over batter; repeat ending with the sauce. Sprinkle nuts over top. Bake 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan to cool on a rack. Drizzle glaze over top. Glaze: Blend sugar with water and flavoring until smooth. Makes about 20 servings.
THE LITTLE CRANBERRY CONTRIBUTES A LOT OF FLAVOR WHEREVER IT GOESp.