Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quick & Convenient Cranberry Sauce

Making a couple nights ago for E and another friend, I wanted to include a bit of color -- and to make the meal feel a little fancier than rice & beans (posts on this later). I have a ton of cranberries in the freezer (and plan to buy more) and thought a cranberry sauce would be lovely to go with -- color, a bit of tart flavor to go with slightly spicy beans, and plenty of all those good things that come from cranberries. And when I paired it with a bit of guacamole from an avocado I've had for a while and which finally ripened, I thought the presentation was pretty lovely.

But the cranberries: I also had a bit of frozen raspberry-lemonade in the freezer, from when a transient friend stayed here for a few nights and didn't want to repack it (or forgot about it?) in his cooler. That's kinda like orange juice in the traditionally cranberry-orange flavors, but a bit more...fun. Or so I hoped.

Turns out, that's a pretty okay combo and this cooked up, over medium heat in about 15 minutes. It didn't cook so long that the cranberries collapsed completely, which was also nice. Plumpish cranberries in cranberry sauce are, well, nice.

Cranberry Sauce
1/2 pound fresh cranberries
1-2 tablespoons (to taste, I used about 1 1/2) frozen raspberry-lemonade concentrate
2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes and then reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, until the cranberries are soft, but retain their shape (about 15 minutes). Serve hot or cool.

Note: You can also keep this over "warm" for a while if you want, but make sure to check it from time to time to see if you need to add more water, so that it doesn't scorch to the bottom. You could cook it down for a while to create jam or preserves, if you wanted, but you will want to make sure that if you go this route you stir it often enough that it doesn't burn as the water evaporates.

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