Ginger-Cranberry Relish

We have spent the last several days relaxing and enjoying Christmas with my wonderful Mother-in-Law, Sharon. For Christmas dinner we enjoyed an amazing roast duck that we roasted on the barbeque and last night she invited a few of her friends (of Three Sisters Laughing) over for Turkey dinner. We again roasted it on the barbeque which had an amazing way of clearing space in the kitchen so we could use the oven for the rest of the dishes.

One of the biggest hits of the evening, especially for Sharon was my Ginger-Cranberry Relish. It is seriously the easiest way to get cranberries on a Holiday table (well, arguably opening a can is probably easier, but if you prefer freshness over cans I am still right).

This relish does rely on a food processor to make it. I plan to figure out a non-food processor recipe, but in the meantime do what you can to borrow one if need be as it is worth the ease and is delicious. Or if you are potluck-ing your holiday ask a guest to throw this one together.

You can also make this several days prior and the flavors meld and merge to be even more satisfying.

So, here is the recipe for you Sharon! Thank you for hosting us in your sweet home for the Holidays and being such a great sous-chef, too!

Cranberry-Ginger Relish
12 ounces cranberries (1 standard size bag)
1 whole orange, (thin-skinned if possible, navels work well)
¾ cup sugar (or more to taste)
¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Rinse the cranberries and sort through removing any that are no longer appetizing looking. Cut the orange into 8 pieces, removing any seeds. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse lightly until everything is well chopped but not to mushy. Taste and add a touch more sugar or ginger if needed.

Enjoy alongside Turkey dinners or as a spread on Turkey Sandwiches.


Pomegranate-Orange Salad

Tis’ the season for this beautiful jeweled fruit!
I can’t think of a more festive fruit then the sparkly seeds of a pomegranate. Seriously, for me the Holidays are all about Red and Sparkles and what could satisfy that more than a “natural” version of Red-Sparkles.

This salad is a also a refreshing addition to the starch laden sides that grace most of our tables. Fruit, lettuce, a simple dressing and a touch a creamy goat cheese in between equal pure loveliness.

Removing the jewels can be a bit of a challenge. Simply cut in half and break into pieces. If you are like me, you will also want to cover yourself in an apron and protect anything else that make become splattered by your efforts. Some people break them apart underwater, but that will not work for this recipe as you want to reserve some of the bright red juice for the dressing.

Pomegranate-Orange Salad
4-6 servings
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 pomegranate, outside washed
2 oranges
1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (more to taste)
1/2 cup pecans, broken & crumbled
4 ounces goat cheese
4 cups of spring lettuce greens

Start with the red onion, place in warm water to mellow out the astringent flavors while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Cut the pomegranate in half. Working over a colander with a bowl below (and protective clothing on your body if you are like me and spray juice all over) gently loosen the seeds from the membranes breaking the pieces a part as needed. Discard the white membranes and allow any juices to drizzle into the bowl.

Slice off each end of one of the oranges. Carefully slice down along the orange, removing all of the skin and white pitch, just the fleshy center will be exposed without any of the white pith on the outside. Next cut down through the middle of the slices (leaving the pieces long) remove any seeds lay on the flat side and thinly slice along the oranges, so you have pretty fanned-half moon pieces. Any excess juice on the cutting board can be scraped into the bowl with the pomegranate juice.

Cut the second orange in half and juice it. You will want at least a 1/2 cup of juice. Add the vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil slowly and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the lettuce on individual plates or salad bowls or in one large bowl. Arrange the orange segments and drained red onions on top, sprinkle on the pecans and goat cheese and top with the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the dressing on top and enjoy.