What starts out as a manageable Thanksgiving menu always grows exponentially as the requests come pouring in.
‘Round about a week before the big day I start getting the Must-Haves calls: “You’re making the fresh cranberry orange relish, right?!” “Remember that apricot stuffing you made in 1999?!” “What about the pumpkin pie with the pecans on top?!” “Must have that chestnut stuffing!” “Must have that sausage stuffing!” “Must have garlic mashed potatoes!”
Each family member makes a convincing argument for their Must-Have dish. Usually there’s a loose implication that death might occur without his or her said dish…or at the very least their Thanksgiving won’t be the same without it.
And I am (as any self-respecting Thanksgiving cook should be) a sucker for taking these requests. My shopping list grows, even throughout Thursday morning, when the Must-Haves continue coming in requiring at least two more emergency trips to the grocery store. By the time Thanksgiving dinner rolls around, The Muddy Kitchen is like a Rolling Stones concert – an anthology of old favorites plus a few odd new numbers tossed in to keep the diehard audience on their toes.
Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Jalapeño is a recent inductee to The Muddy Kitchen cranberry collection. With a little spice and heat, its flavors are a bit more adventurous than the cran classics and it’s a great way to utilize the oven before the turkey goes in. Roasting cranberries a gorgeous way to concentrate their flavor and jewel-like intensity. Saveur is another favorite resource for overall food porn and Turkey Day recipes.
ROASTED CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH ORANGE AND JALAPEÑO
1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flavorful olive oil
1 tsp. salt
4 green cardamom pods, smashed
4 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
1 small jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. port
- Heat oven to 450°. Using a peeler, remove peel from the orange, taking off as little of the bitter white pith as possible.
- Cut peel into very thin strips about 1” long.
- Squeeze juice from the orange; strain and reserve 1 tbsp. juice.
- In a bowl, combine peel, cranberries, sugar, olive oil, salt, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and jalapeños.
- Toss and transfer to a parchment paper–lined or nonstick baking sheet.
- Roast until cranberries begin to burst and release their juices, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer cranberry mixture to a bowl; stir in reserved orange juice and port. Let sit for at least 1 hour (this is one of my ‘make the day before’ dishes). Remove and discard cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon before serving.
Take your boots off before you come in here!