Okay so I know Thanksgiving has come and gone, and some might think that it is too late for cranberry sauce. Not true say I, why not take advantage of the fresh cranberries still available all throughout the holiday season. Also I know people that love Thanksgiving so much that they roast turkey weekly all through to the new year(that is a lot of turkey comas.) Even if you have put away that roasting pan for the year, some people are so organized that they store all of their holiday recipes together and start planning for next year now(I know, I hate 'em too!) So for all of you Thankgivingphiles out there, and you know who you are, I will offer this and other holiday recipes over the next week or so.
Like many of my recipes, this one offers a lot of servings, but it can be scaled up or down according to your needs. I also make it slightly different each year, likely because I never write these recipes down, and my memory is not what it used to be. So in addition to the recipe below feel free to utilize one or more of the following optional equipment: cardamom, allspice, dry mustard, chipotle, rosemary, pepper(black and/or white,) orange zest, dried apricots, walnuts, butter, diced chile(jalapeno, serrano, habanero,"Burning Sensation's" H-Bomb hot sauce) Balsamic Vinegar, beer, port wine, cognac, spiced rum, Irish Whiskey, or Bourbon) Don't go overboard with these. Use your judgement and a little common sense if you have any(if not find someone who does and ask:-)
3Lbs Fresh Cranberries(frozen just doesn't cut it)
2-12oz Bottles of spicy gingerale(Reed's or equivalent)
3.25cups Sugar(I use organic, but whatever you have is okay)
20oz can Pineapple, chunks or tidbits in juice, drained juice reserved
2-11oz cans Mandarin Oranges, drained liquid discarded
3Tbs Crystallized candied ginger, minced
1tsp Ground cinnamon
Dash or two(three) of cayenne pepper
Dash of sea salt
Combine all ingredients except for the ginger, pineapple and mandarins in a large heavy pot, and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring regularly to prevent scorching. Reduce heat to a low boil and cook until the berries start popping. Reduce the heat all the way to low and add the remaining ingredients, fold into the sauce so that you don't break the mandarins. Remove from heat and allow the flavors to get acquainted for at least ten minutes before serving. So simple, but so delicious and easy to customize into your signature sauce for years to come.
Oh, I almost forgot about the juice from the pineapple. You don't want to add it to the sauce as it changes the color to a milky purple. So make a nice drink with it like a spritzer(half Pelegrino, half Juice,) add a little spiced or coconut rum, etc.
Happy Holiday's, God bless, and as always keep it Saucey!!