Monday, November 22, 2010

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

Yesterday we had roommate Thanksgiving.  It was glorious.  There were only four of us there, one who was an old friend of Kristin and Megan's (and Stacey was sick, so she wasn't there, sad!), but we still had a blast and a half.

Kristin made rolls, peas, delicious mashed potatoes, and turkey meatballs.  She also brought Martinelli's.  It's really not a celebration unless there's Martinelli's.

I made five pies (covered in later posts, I promise!) and cranberry sauce.

The dinner spread was quite tasty.  It was a nice change from the regular Thanksgiving carb- and fat-fest (not that I don't like that, too!), with turkey meatballs and warm cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes sans gravy, rolls brushed with butter beforehand, and peas for the vegetable.  I kind of missed the stuffing and other side dishes, but as I often make side dishes for my meals, I figure I can make up for it later, not to mention on the actual day of Thanksgiving.  And the absence of those side dishes helped the meal to feel more like an actual meal, rather than a stuff-your-face-type event. 

One of the pies I made involved cranberries (later, later), and after I'd made that, I had 2/3 a bag of cranberries left over.  Since the turkey meatballs by themselves would have been rather plain, I decided to make a sauce, also using the 1/3 of a pomegranate I had in the fridge.

There were 40 minutes left until we had guests coming over to help us eat pie, and we were still hustling trying to make the dinner portion of the show.  I googled recipes for pomegranate-cranberry sauce, but they were all extremely elaborate, taking hours to cool or simmer, or calling for long lists of unlikely ingredients.  They did, however, have two things in common: they called for cloves and cinnamon, and they recommended adding the pomegranate arils (seeds) toward the end of cooking.

Armed with this information, I went googling again.  This time I was searching for fast and easy cranberry sauce recipes.  The first link I clicked was perfect.  It called for cooking, over medium heat, 2 parts cranberry + 1 part brown sugar + 1 part water until all the cranberries were popped open and the sauce was the consistency you wanted.  I adapted it, and it was wonderful.

It had a perfect balance of spice and sweet, and it was tangy with a great consistency.  Also, it was delicious over turkey meatballs. 

It even looks like there are little jewels!

Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
2 cups cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup packed brown sugar
approx. 1/3 pomegranate's worth of seeds*
Dash of lemon juice
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves

Add cranberries, water, and brown sugar to a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring regularly to avoid inconsistent caramelization of the brown sugar.

When most of the cranberries are popped open, approximately 10-15 minutes, add your pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, and spices.  Continue to cook, approximately 5-10 minutes, until the pomegranate seeds are as soft as you want them (mine still looked like pomegranate, but they had some give to them).  Adjust seasonings, lemon juice, and water to taste.

For a thicker consistency, continue cooking until more of the water has boiled off.  For thinner, add more water.

Take off the heat and enjoy!

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