Thanksgiving cranberry: A chutney alternative to the dreaded canned sauce

Cranberry ChutneyGrowing up, our poor excuse for a Thanksgiving cranberry side was opening up a chilled can of cranberry sauce. I was never a fan… tasted like (and I imagine it still does) aluminum flavored, jellied cough syrup. It was one of the items I pushed around the plate until no one could notice I didn’t eat any.

After I became a chef, I knew there was a better answer… cranberries didn’t suck that bad. So I mustered up a recipe for cranberry chutney, cobbled together from many other but originally inspired by a Junior League cook book from Tampa called Tampa Treasures. In it, there are dozens of tried-and-true, southern- or Cuban-inspired dishes created by home cooks which never, ever disappoint.

 

Cranberry Chutney
Makes a lot… like 6 cups… plenty for leftover turkey sandwiches

1 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup apples, chopped
2 Tablespoons orange rind, grated
Half a fresh orange, peeled and cut up
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

1. Wash cranberries and remove any stems.
2. Combine cranberries, sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of orange juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 20 minutes but stir frequently and break up the cranberries with the flat side of a wooden spoon against the side of the pan.
3. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice as well as all other ingredients.
4. Cover and refrigerate. When cool, spoon into desired storage vessels. Keeps about a week.

 

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