Food of the Month, November 2012: Cranberry Sauce, Homemade of Course

If the jelly cranberry sauce that comes in a can (the one you slice) gives you the heebie-jeebies (yaay, I finally used that word in a post!) like it does me, you definitely want to try my homemade version, which is savory, sweet and so easy to make. November 23 is Eat a Cranberry Day, but I wanted to share this recipe before Thanksgiving. Now you have no excuse to suffer through the canned stuff. Plus, fresh cranberries are on sale everywhere.

This recipe is based loosely on a cranberry chutney I recently helped make in a cooking class I took at Revolution in Durham (I’ll be posting about that fun and wonderful  adventure soon.) Executive Chef Jim Anile didn’t have recipes for anything we made that day, so I’m just taking some of his ingredients and adding some of my own. The result? Awesome!

Ingredients (For about 2 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup shallots, chopped fine
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries, washed and drained
  • 1 lemon (for its zest)
  • 2-3 oranges (for approximately 1 cup of fresh juice and some zest)
  • Fresh ginger (about a teaspoon), peeled
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Sea salt to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped shallots, sauté for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat.

Using a microplane, grate the lemon, one of the oranges and part of the peeled ginger. Save the lemon and ginger root for other uses — the orange will be juiced.

Juice the oranges to make a cup or so of juice. In a large bowl, mix the cranberries and the rest of the ingredients together.

Add the cranberries to the skillet with the shallots and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone (this takes about one-half hour or so.) Stir occasionally.

Remove the cranberry sauce from heat and chill for several hours in the refrigerator.

Savor the smiles and the ooohs and aaahhs from all of the jelly-blob cranberry haters!

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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