Monday, December 19, 2011

Cranberry and Port Relish

Bless Emeril for this one. 

Quite a few years ago, back when I used to go wine tasting every Spring...yes, before kids, we bought Port. Goooooooooood Port. Before I tasted this Port, I never was a Port-fancier. And then it happened. We were meandering from winery to winery, and walked our way into this particular storefront and were escorted to the back in the warehouse. One friend was already in a group around a barrel, looking very focused on what the winemaker was saying. The group moved on...she stayed. "Oh, I am just going to catch up with my friends here", she said to him. I gave her a sideways glance. She raised her eyebrows and gave me that "listen up" look with a little jerk of her head. What was she doing?

The winemaker asked if we were all present and he started to do his presentation again. I was catching it for the first time. She was on Round 2. This is a Portuguese-style Port. Warm undertones. They use *peach brandy* during the fermentation process. Common descriptors are: Black cherry, boysenberry, chocolate, spice and black pepper.

Interesting and it had my attention. "Would any of you like a taste?"

Her glass charged out like a cash register drawer and in a shy, little voice, "Yes, please". She was going for another round. This had to be a good one and it was. Honestly, I had never had anything like this Port before being I was relatively new to the wine tasting circuit. "Are they all this good?", I asked. "No", she quickly replied and I think she was going for a third tasting.

I told the Good Apple we should buy some, and we did. I believe that year we bought a single bottle. The next year, 3. The following year, half a case for ourselves and another half for friends and family who now had the same addiction and that is how it continued for years.
So, Emeril. It was Thanksgiving and we were watching the Food Network. Emeril starts to tell us about this cranberry relish. Whoop-di-doo. OH, it has port in it. That means we would have to open a bottle. 

We made the recipe and have tweaked it over the years, but it is a staple around our table now, even when we are guests elsewhere. I am providing you with a recipe that I use for this post, however, I make a TON whenever I make this and it is all consumed. And the bottle of port doesn't last either. The amounts are enough for 8 people at dinner and leftovers. Feel free to half it.

Your Holiday table needs this cranberry relish...enjoy!
Cranberry and Port Relish 

9 cups of fresh cranberries
2 oranges, zested
1 cup of orange juice
1  cup of port
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar, more if you like it sweet
1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring cranberries, zest, port and juice to a gentle boil. 

Lower heat and add cinnamon and sugar. 

Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Once cranberries are soft, mash using a potato masher.  

In a cup, mix cornstarch and 2 tbsps of water. Whisk in cornstarch slurry to cranberry sauce and mix until the relish thickens.

Serve slightly warm or cool. Tastes great the next day. 
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  1. Yummy, yum, yum! Don't you just love cranberries? Husband loves Port. In fact, on our 2nd date, we had a glass together (my first). Unfortunately, I'm a white wine gal, and did not appreciate it very much :( That an sushi, another favorite of Husband's. Oh well!

  2. Ooh...that looks delicious. My family loves stuff like this, gotta try it.


  3. What a fantastic recipe!! I am going to show this to my girlfriend and try to make it!! haha. Well done and happy holidays!

  4. that sounds soooo good! will bookmark your recipe so i can try it next year :)

  5. Yum! Makes me want to make a stuffed pork tenderloin. Will be trying this soon. :)

  6. I have never made anything from scratch with fresh cranberries, but it sounds like something I really want to try. This looks delicious!

  7. I hope some of you had a chance to try this delicious dish! I received some great feedback today that this is going to become a family tradition for one of my readers. Woo ! There is nothing better than passing on a great recipe.


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