ThanksgivingWhat to Cook

A Spicy-Hot Cranberry Chutney With a Life Well Beyond Thanksgiving

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If you love your Aunt Mabel’s cranberry sauce as is, then this chutney won’t convince you to change. But if you’ve been longing for something a little bit different at the Thanksgiving meal—or searching for a place to incorporate a more diverse range of flavors—then this is just the dish.

Cranberry, Onion, and Ginger Chutney
Cranberry, Onion, and Ginger Chutney

The cranberry and orange are familiar and classic, but the candied ginger adds heat and excitement, the sweet raisins balance the tang of the fruit and the cider vinegar, and the mustard seeds create little textural explosions. I toast them, along with dried turmeric and fresh and ground chile, as I sauté the onions (a lot of onions) and before I add in the cranberries and the ginger, so that their flavors can permeate the sauce as it cooks.

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Most often, I serve this chutney in the winter months as a complement to cheese—the stronger the better (try a gorgonzola picante or a sharp aged sheep’s milk cheese). But it's a great complement to that pride of Thanksgiving, a beautiful, properly roasted turkey.

Of course, like everyone, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers, especially in the form of a sandwich pressed in a panini press. I thinly slice the turkey, layer it with mashed potatoes and gravy, and then, as the final but crucial element, slap in some of the cranberry chutney to fully balance out the meal.

So eat it during Thanksgiving, yes, but make sure you make enough to have leftovers. It keeps a while and is an excellent condiment to have on hand throughout the holiday season

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(And if you’re wondering about the difference between chutneys and relishes, chutneys tend to be sweeter, but otherwise, the term is rather interchangeable.)

088abda5 2771 4dd6 8e92 48be315528fc  2016 1019 cranberry sauce with candied ginger mark weinberg 124 1

Cranberry, Onion, and Ginger Chutney

71ac0add b9dd 45dd 87f6 3be6244a2f8b  unnamed Sara Jenkins
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Makes 4 pints (but easily halved)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 fresh cayenne chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 quarts cranberries
  • 1 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar (2 1/2 cups)

How does your family make cranberry sauce? Tell us in the comments below!


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