There it sits. That jiggly, wiggly gelatinous cylinder, sliced into opaque, maroon circles, haunting your Thanksgiving table.
That’s right, I’m talking cranberry sauce, a dish that most think is a given for any holiday family gathering. Just chill, slide in the butter knife, plop onto a saucer and you are good to go.
I tend to think differently, outside-of-the-"can" even, when it comes to the cranberry. This underrated edible is best fresh and this year I wanted to make the best cranberry accompaniment I could for our Turkey Day get-together.
There are plenty of good fresh cranberry recipes out there, but I wanted to kick the heat up a bit and get around using the same predictable holiday spices.
That’s when I decided to take my cranberry concoction in a whole new direction by mixing it with fresh jalapeños. Once mixed with apples, honey and citrus zest, I’d created one of the best cranberry dishes I think exists.
Take note – once you process the ingredients, it will taste pretty bland. And you’ll probably get hit right in the face with the punch of fresh jalapeño. After recovering from that, you’ll probably think, “Meh.”
But don’t worry. Store in an airtight container in the fridge overnight and the juices begin to mingle, the flavor begins to samba and the taste of this cranberry salsa becomes muy bueno!
*Serve with tortilla chips, on top of food or alone.
Makes about three cups
- 2 ½ cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
- 1 medium jalapeño, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apple, cored and roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of one lime
- Zest of an orange and lemon
- 1 medium bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbs. honey
- 1 tsp. sea salt
*If this version just isn’t hot enough for you, you can replace or add some habanero chilies.
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until well-minced.
Store in airtight container in fridge overnight.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and appeared on “The Best Of...” in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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