Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cranberry Apple Chutney

There is something about the combination of savory and sweet that makes me want to do a little food dance. The dance would serve two purposes: it would first express, where words fail, how much I LOVE sweet and savory; and second, it would burn a few calories that I most likely consumed while enjoying something sweet and savory.

I think it is this combination that makes Thanksgiving turkey bearable for me. What I mean is, I don't want super dry turkey unless I have some kind of cranberry sauce to dip it in. Turkey, savory. Cranberry, sweet and tart.

I have to say, I am not completely appalled by cranberry sauce in a can. First of all, it's HILARIOUS to me to see a mold in the unbecoming shape of a can just sitting amongst all the other delicious Thanksgiving dinner dishes like it belongs there. Seriously, the sight makes me want to laugh out loud.

I saw cranberries in the grocery store recently and realized that it would be wrong of me to let the Thanksgiving season come and go without trying out my hand with those pretty little berries. And I wanted to make a Thanksgiving Turkey slider for a party I'm hosting this weekend. And so I thought...turkey slider, topped with homemade cranberry chutney. Thanksgiving in one bite!

This chutney would be great in a variety of ways. First, of course, it would be most delicious on a turkey burger or a leftover turkey sandwich. Shake it up with some olive oil and make a sweet salad dressing out of it. Serve it with some crackers and brie for a very sophisticated cheese plate! The opportunities are endless for this tart and flavorful chutney!

Here's what you need for Cranberry Apple Chutney:

1 bag (17 oz) fresh cranberries
2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large shallot, diced fine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 oranges, juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do:

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Toss in the apples, shallot, ginger and rosemary. Sautee until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The smells that will be taking over your kitchen will, even at this first step, drive you completely wild!

Add the cranberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice and sugar to the pan. Stir well to combine, being sure all the fruit is coated in the sugar.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. When the cranberries start to pop and the apples are very soft, take a potato masher and mash all the fruit together. This will make it more of a smooth, thick sauce.

Season with salt and pepper (just a sprinkle!)
Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. If any chunks are left, smooth them out with the back of your spoon.
Allow the mixture to cool completely then serve at room temperature or store in jars in the fridge. The chutney should last for a number of days.

I wanted to keep this particular batch fairly tart, however if you want your cranberry sauce on the sweeter side, add more sugar or use store-bought orange juice. You can also skip the mashing part--I did this to make it easier to spread on slider buns!

How are you re-inspiring Thanksgiving classics?!

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