Friday, December 7, 2012

Cranberry Sauce, Bobby Flay style

So, here it is, as promised! A little entry on my most recent attempt at cranberry sauce.
After seeing Bobby Flay make a bourbon-infused cranberry relish on Iron Chef, I thought I'd give it a whirl myself. So I tracked down this recipe and got to work!

Cranberry-Bourbon Relish

What you'll need:
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño or serrano, finely diced
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup bourbon
1/4 cup granulated sugar*
1/2 cup light brown sugar*
1 lb fresh cranberries (or frozen, thawed)
2 tsp grated fresh orange zest
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro

What you'll need to do:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the orange juice and bourbon, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugars and cook until completely dissolved. Add half of the cranberries and cook until they pop and are very soft, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining cranberries and orange zest and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the herbs. Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature.

Tips and Tricks:

I like cranberry sauce and I like orange juice. I guess I just don't like orange-flavored cranberry sauce. 

orange zest

I was a bit disappointed by this recipe, which was all the more difficult because it did take a bit of time, with all the zesting, etc. Perhaps I could have predicted it would have been a bit heavy on the orange if I'd just read it a bit more carefully. There were some things I liked, like the addition of the jalapeño.


I know the recipe calls for either a jalapeño or a serrano chile, but I cannot imagine using a serrano, as they have much more heat, and I found that even the jalapeño walked the line of being a bit overwhelming. I bought a large pepper, and ended up using about three quarters of it. I removed most of the seeds and white areas as well, to cut down on the heat even more. The one issue with the pepper is that it infuses the dish more and more as time progresses so that after even two days in the refrigerator this dish was more or less inedible.

It wasn't a total loss though, I learned some things and look forward to experimenting some more with cranberry sauce recipes. And the bourbon was perfect for our apple cider... 
pre-Thanksgiving meal

*not all granulated sugar is strictly considered vegan, see my "Vegan Pantry" page for a further discussion of sugars

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