Monday, November 22, 2010

Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce

I am afraid I need to make this a hit and run post.  I really want to make sure you have this in time to squeeze it into your Thanksgiving plans.  My original plan was to post the recipe last week.  I was out of town at a conference and was imaging plenty of free time in the evenings to write about it.  Unfortunately both the free time and the reliable internet connection were missing.  However, I came away with multiple new vocabulary words about poverty and, along with 159 other Americorps Vistas, learned approaches to eliminate poverty.

This recipe is a direct result of the case of 12 adorable bottles of Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice that I received as a gift from the company. I have to admit I told them yes, I would love their offer of juice because I was thinking, "You like me.  You really like me."  It was only after I received their box of generosity that I realized I needed to make something exciting with it and post about it.  I have made many things we enjoyed eating with the juice, but none of them worthy of a post.  I thought about posting brisket braised in pomegranate juice, however it felt like cheating.  It is truly wonderful, although I feel the onion confit did not add enough to the dish, and leave it out every time I make it.  But I should be posting a dish that is completely my own instead of one I adapted by leaving something out.

The pomegranate cranberry sauce is my own invention.  It may have the same main ingredient as the ridged condiment you tip from a can, however you would never know.  This one has a balanced tartness
that is a delicious counterpart to Thanksgiving dinner.  Although we loved it with braised lamb shanks as well.  This recipe is even easier to make than the pumpkin pie with a no roll crust my children are making for Thanksgiving dinner.  Adding it to your responsibilities for the week should not be a stretch.  It can even be made far in advance and wait for your celebration in the back of the fridge (in case you are thinking of making it for Thanksgiving 2011).

Before the recipe, just one quick totally unrelated Julian story.  I have always allowed my children to go by the five second rule for food dropped on the floor at home.  With young children it often feels like not allowing that would mean they would starve.  The other day, after picking something up off the floor to eat it Julian looked at me and said, "Did you know there is a zero second rule at school?"  Oy, so grateful I have no idea which adult had to tell that to him.  Lastly check out Thermapen's tips for cooking a turkey to a safe temperature.  Maybe the best piece of information is the required time a turkey has to be at 155° is one minute for food safety.  So cook your turkey until it is dry if you prefer it that way, not to make sure it is safe to eat.

Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
Feel free to play with the amount of sugar in this recipe to suit your tastes.  I prefer my cranberry sauce on the tart side.  You could also add walnuts, crystalized ginger, cinnamon, red wine or port to the sauce.  While I did make this to highlight the pomegranate juice, you could also use concentrated apple juice.  If you use apple juice it will not have the same complex tart/sweet flavor.

2 cups Pom Wonderful Pomegranate juice
1 bag/3 cups/12 oz's fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries
2 apple cored, peeled and chopped fine
juice of 3 clementines (1 rind reserved)
1 clementine rind, from juiced clementine, chopped fine
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup brown sugar (or more to taste)

Cook pomegranate juice in a small saucepan until reduced by half.  To measure the reduction I marked a chopstick with a sharpie pen to show the depth of the pomegranate juice before heating.  The juice was then reduced enough when it was halfway to the mark. Although eyeballing it is also completely legitimate, as it does not need to be exact, you want to reduce it some so the sauce is not too liquidy.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and cook until the cranberries have begun to burst and it is thick.  This should only take a brief amount of time boiling.  Cool to room temperature before serving.  This can be canned if you wish, following the guidelines for canning jam.

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