Monday, October 27, 2014

Cranberries: Part One

This bag packs a powerful punch of flavors.

Only three major fruits are native to North America: the cranberry, blueberry and Concord grape. Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries. When cranberries are ripe they can bounce. Cranberries are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes from appetizers, drinks, sauces, main dishes, vegetables, breads and desserts. 
Recipe from Pam Anderson
Baked Camembert with Cranberry-Orange Relish
  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest and juice from 1 large orange
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3 oz box), thawed
  • 1 wheel Camembert cheese (about 4 inches in diameter), top rind sliced off
  • Bring cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to a full simmer in a medium skillet or a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Simmer for 1 minute. Cover, turn off heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in orange zest, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll puff pastry on a lightly floured surface along the fold lines to 12 inches long. Cut out two 6-inch rounds. Lay one pastry round on a baking sheet and set cheese wheel on it, cut side up. Top with remaining puff pastry and crimp around perimeter of cheese to seal.
  • Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes and serve, letting each person slice a wedge of the pastry encased cheese and top with cranberry sauce.
Roasted Beets with Cranberries and Glazed Pecans  
  • 1 cup  cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 TB. sugar
  • 3 TB. balsamic vinegar or Pomegranate Balsamic 
  • 3 TB olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. sliced cooked beets
  • 1/2 cup glazed pecans
  • 1 cup sliced red onions
  • crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
  • mixed greens
  • option adding tangerine segments to the salad
  • Scrub beets and wrap in foil. Place in a 375°F oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then slice. Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.
  • Cook cranberries with water and sugar over medium heat till berries pop about 7 minutes.
  • Whisk in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss with beets, onions and pecans. Mix in greens and top with cheese.
Option-use Cranberry Vinaigrette recipe instead of the balsamic vinegar and olive oil 
Cranberry Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp.Dijon mustard
  • 3 TB. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Place all ingredients in a high speed blender; process until smooth and creamy.
Cranberry Sonnet
by Nancy Ness 
The waves roll on and gulls above soar high,
Lone foghorns chanting Cape Cod's solitude.
The dunes at rest beneath the autumn sky
Envelop peaceful beaches once imbued.
Bright foliage adorns the countryside,
Surrounding sundried bogs of cranberries.
This summer tourists' verdant welcome tide
Now boasts majestic hues of burgundies.
Synthetic lakes spew forth from each bog's moat
Releasing berries for the harvest day,
And buoyant crimson carpets lie afloat
In just abeyance being scooped away
To conjure up a sauce with Ocean Spray
And have with turkey for Thanksgiving Day.

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