Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away!
My first Thanksgiving meal was something hard to forget. It was in a diner in Ann Arbor, Michigan! I wanted to find out what the fuss was all about Thanksgiving dinners. I'll tell you that story in another post. After that first meal, my Thanksgiving dinners have drastically improved.
I also thought it was strange that sweet fruit sauce was served with roast turkey, something Thais don't do. Most cranberry sauces I have encountered are very sweet. I also think it's anti climactic when people serve it straight out of a can complete with ridges, to go with otherwise home made food!. You know what I am talking about. I have always make my own cranberry sauces. It varies every year. This year I am going to push the envelope.
Most cranberry sauce recipes call for orange juice or sweet spice, like cinnamon. I am taking my sauce the savory route. I also want to give more body to my sauce. A cup of dried cranberries and diced apple will do that for me. Making cranberry sauce is so easy. You dump everything in the pot and cook until the cranberries burst and glue to each other in a homogeneous mass. The sauce will thicken as it cools so the sauce consistency should be looser than what you want your final product to be. This year I am going to serve my cranberry sauce warm.
Put everything in a medium sauce pan, except pecans and Szechuan oil.
12 oz. fresh cranberries, 1 cup dried cranberries, ½ cup white wine, or sweet red wine, 1 medium sized apple, peeled, cored, and diced, ½ cup sugar, 2 T. maple syrup, 1 1tsp. grated ginger, ½-1 jalapeno, diced finely, depending how spicy you want, ½ tsp. salt plus a couple more pinches, 1 cup chopped candied pecans.
A few drops of Szechuan peppercorn oil before serving (optional)
You can make this cranberry sauce in only 25 minutes, it's easy. Use high heat first and then reduce to medium once the cranberries are all popped. Turn off the heat when you reach the desired consistency. You might have to add 1/4 cup of water or so. Taste your sauce along the way. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar. Fold in chopped candied pecans at the end, to add some crunchy, nutty dimension to your sauce. If you don't like pecans, you can leave them out or substitute with other nuts that you like. It's your sauce! Make it the way you like it. Like I said earlier, this year I will go wild with my cranberry sauce. I will fold in a few drops of Szechuan peppercorn oil just before serving. I don't want the numbing sensation but I want my sauce to be somewhat mysterious, something different that my guests cannot identify. I think you can add up to 1/8 tsp. of the oil per a cup of cranberry sauce. I will serve my cranberry sauce warm with some fresh chopped cilantro mixed in.
I think you will see your guests raise their eyebrows in amazement after their first bite! Happy Thanksgiving :)