Many years ago I went to a holiday party and one of the guests brought chips and salsa, but with a twist. The base of the dip was cranberry as opposed to the traditional tomato. I loved it and set out to develop my own cranberry creation which has endured for a very long time and adopted by many as a family favorite. My daughter makes this every year for Thanksgiving in place of the traditional sauce and it is always met with great enthusiam. You can use fresh or frozen berries making it a year round treat.
At my last class, Holiday Appetizers, I didn’t feature this recipe but spoke of it and was asked to put it up on my blog. For those who are waiting for it, I apologize for not getting it up before Thanksgiving but I was just so busy I didn’t get around to making it and taking photos until this week. It is still cranberry season so no worries, take it to your next party.
Here is how it goes down.
ZESTY CRANBERRY SALSA
Recipe by Jeanne Raffetto Tentis
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 plump clove garlic (or to taste)
1-2 jalapeno peppers
4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 scallions, minced
1/3c freshly squeezed lime juice (approx.3 limes)
1/2c sugar (I usually cut this in half)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Boil cranberries for 1 minute in 1 quart of water. Drain well.
- Mince or press the garlic. Seed and mince the jalapeno. Combine with chopped cilantro, scallions, and cranberries in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mix well squeezing some of the cranberries to pulp and leaving some whole for texture.
- Add the lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Add additional amounts of these ingredients if necessary, tasting as you go along, until you reach the perfect combination of sweet, sour and spicy.
- Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled with white and/or blue corn chips. Makes a great party dip for the Fourth of July or during the holidays!
This can be made a day ahead but scallions and cilantro should be added right before serving. Refrigerate for storage but allow to sit out and come to room temperature for maximum flavor.
Thanksgiving has come and gone but I am trying to hold on to the focus of gratitude for all the blessings I have and those who love me and I am privleged to love in return. We hosted the holiday this year with all the traditional fixings. We gave thanks and an continued on with an abundance of good food, lively conversation, a spirited game of Wildlife Bingo followed by a very special dessert. I challenged our 11 year old grandson to wow us with something amazing and he didn’t disappoint. What he presented was a beautifully crafted “Buche de Noel” or a Yule Log Cake complete with handmade merringue mushrooms. Quite impressive! Made of sponge cake, it resembles an actual Yule log, in the form of sweet roulade served traditionally near Christmas especially in Belgium, France, Lebanon, Quebec and several former French colonies. Quite an undertaking, Henry did us proud –AGAIN!!!!!!
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and had the opportunity to spend it with loved ones. We are experiencing our first snowfall of the season today, setting the stage for the nostalgic and covetted White Christmas. Throughout the craziness of the holidays, remember to take a moment to reflect on what brings joy to your life and whether it is family recipes or something new, this is the perfect time of year to spread the love, one dish and cherished memory at a time. Until next time, I send love from my kitchen to yours. Jeanne