I have been making variations of cranberry sauce for many years now and never quite landed on my "this is it" ideal that I sought in making a cranberry sauce to serve at holiday meals in compliment of the turkey protein. I was looking for something not too sweet, not too spicy, but bursting with fresh wow-in-the-mouth flavor. This year I think I've achieved my goal thanks to the addition of the "Jewel of Autumn" -- the pomegranate. From the Pom Council:
"You see those glistening red jewels inside? They’re called arils, and they’re full of delicious, nutritious sweet-tart juice surrounding a small white crunchy seed. You can eat the whole arils including the fiber-rich seeds, or spit out the seeds if you prefer- it’s your choice! The rind and the white membranes surrounding the arils are bitter and we don’t suggest eating them- although some say even that part of the pomegranate has medicinal value!" Pom Council
Here is the recipe as I made my cranberry sauce this year. It may be a bit tart for some tastes, which can be corrected with the addition of more sugar or even honey. Everyone at our Thanksgiving dinner complimented the sauce and I appreciated a few requests for the recipe. I hope you'll give this delicious condiment a try and include it in many of your high protein meals.
Makes 3 1/2 - 4 cups
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup mild white onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup 100% orange juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme
pinch kosher salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 or 2 star anise
Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pot and gently warm over medium heat. Increase heat slightly and allow compote to simmer 40 minutes until cranberries burst and ingredients are a soft thick mixture. Remove from heat and discard thyme leaf, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If added sugar is necessary return to heat and cook until added sugar is dissolved and incorporated.
Serve at room temperature with poultry, pork, or cheese. Store refrigerated up to two weeks.
Recipe Idea: For a delightful cheese ball mix 1 part Cranberry-Pomegranate Compote with two parts cream cheese and serve on crackers or toast points.