Cranberries

Bacon & Cranberry Chutney

by Shawnda on December 7, 2013

in Appetizers,Beef,Burgers & Sliders,Condiments,Cranberries,Sandwich, Wraps, & Quesadillas

Bacon & Cranberry Chutney

Even before the last of those lovely bacon jam-filled pretzel rolls disappeared, I’d already staked out the idea of combining the bacon jam with cranberries for a spread-on-anything and stuff-in-everthang twist on cranberry sauce.

The original attempt of turning bacon jam into cranberry-bacon jam failed. Well, as much as something called “bacon jam” could fail. While tasty – and then, of course, still completely devoured – there was simply just too much bacon. A feat that I didn’t even know was possible before!

So I turned cranberry chutney into bacon-cranberry chutney instead. Plenty of tart cranberries and just enough bacon to turn the sweet and savory and smokey chutney into a “just one more spoonful won’t hurt” spread.

Burgers with Bacon & Cranberry Chutney and Brie

I put it over baked brie. And on burgers. And sliders.

And then I made a second batch and did it all over again, making The Cranwich for lunch 3 days in a row.

Festive and delicious with layers of flavor. And just enough bacon.

Bacon & Cranberry Chutney

Homemade cranberry chutney flavored with smokey bacon.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (more if desired)
  • 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • Generous pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a medium sauce pan until mostly crisped and then remove with a slotted spoon to a small saucer.
  2. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and stir, cooking another minute.
  4. Return the bacon to the ban along with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat and then cover, cooking for ~10 minutes until the cranberries have softened.
  6. Remove the lid and let simmer until nearly all of the liquid has cooked away, about another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Taste for sweetness and add another tablespoon or two of sugar, if you think it needs it.
  8. Transfer to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times.
  9. Transfer to a jar or bowl and keep in the refrigerator where it will last a good 2 weeks. Probably.

Notes

Yields: ~2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes

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Orange and Cranberry Curd Squares

This truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

After our Fairy Mermaid Princess (Princess Mermaid Fairy?) waved goodbye to the last of the trick or treaters, we turned off the lights and gave The Little her choice of Hocus Pocus or Charlie Brown to help wind down from the excitement of the night. Because nothing blows a 3 year old’s mind more than seeing other kids dressed in a costume.

Momma, look! That boy has a face on top of his other face!

She, who ended up sleeping in her Mermaid Fair Princess tutu-dress thingy – again – chose Charlie Brown… Christmas. So here we are, on November 1st with the first holiday dessert of the year already half gone.

Orange and Cranberry Curd Squares

In my defense, we didn’t have a single piece of Halloween candy left over. So we went with the next best thing for breakfast today: Orange & Cranberry Curd Squares.

You might recognize the recipe from its cousin post, Grapefruit Curd Squares. Because next to a margarita, those bars are still the greatest things to happen to a grapefruit.

And these bars aren’t that far from being the greatest things to ever happen to cranberries. Or cranberry juice, I should say.

Orange and Cranberry Curd Squares

Pies will get their moment to shine but for now, we’re perfectly happy ushering in the holiday season with a batch of beautiful citrusy & tart cranberry bars.

Plus, it’s far harder to pass off a piece of pie as breakfast.

Orange-Cranberry Curd Squares

A citrusy shortbread cookie topped with a beautiful red cranberry curd.

Ingredients

  • For the cookie base:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Zest from 2 small oranges, divided (and fruit reserved for juicing later... or just eating)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
  • For the cranberry curd:
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice*
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp yogurt or sour cream
  • Powdered sugar, for serving
  • 1-2 drops red gel coloring (optional)
  • *We're talking about the pure, unadulterated 100% "why did I wear white today" cranberry juice, brands like RW Knudsen. Not the juice cocktail kind with pear and apple juice.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Add flour, salt, sugar, 2/3 of the orange zest, and butter pieces to the small bowl of your food processor and process for ~1 minute, until the butter has been completely distributed into the dry ingredients and there are no traces of powder left. (You can do this by hand, it will just take a few minutes longer - just smash the sugar with the orange zest first to better distribute the orange flavor.)
  4. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan and press down firmly.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges brown.
  6. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  8. Whisk in the remaining orange zest, cranberry juice, eggs, and yogurt until thoroughly combined and lump-free.
  9. Not overall thrilled with the color of the mixture? Consider adding just a drop or two of red gel coloring. Happy now? Great, let's move on.
  10. Pour over cookie crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set - the center should jiggle but not be fluid when you gently shake the pan.
  11. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and then run the tip of a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.
  12. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares and serving dusted with powdered sugar.
  13. Leftovers will keep a few days covered, at room temp or in the fridge.
  14. Fabulous eaten cold and called breakfast. Not that I'd know.

Notes

Yields: 12 servings

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Lemon Curd Squares

Estimated time: 2 hours

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Brie is one of my go-to appetizers during the holidays. It’s easily thrown together and since it’s wrapped in the buttery, flaky goodness that is puff pastry, it’s always a huge hit. It’s super versatile – you can use just about anything: fruit preserves, nuts, caramelized onions, cranberry sauce. None of those or all of those. I usually serve it on a platter with grapes, crackers, and prosciutto.

The only thing you have to watch out for is making sure you crimp/pinch the puff pastry together really well so you don’t get leaky cheese running everywhere. Just in case I missed something, I always bake it in a baking dish just slightly larger than the brie wheel – if there are any leaks, it’s contained.

Cranberry-Apple Brie en Croute

My all-time favorite holiday appetizer: creamy brie, flaky puffed pastry, and tangy cranberry sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup orange cran-apple sauce
  • 1 small wheel of brie
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Heat olive oil in a pan and cook onions over low heat until caramelized (15-20 minutes).
  2. ay puff pastry sheet flat on a lightly floured surface. Slice the wheel of brie in half horizontally. Place the bottom half of the brie in the center of the dough.
  3. Spoon the cranberry sauce onto the brie and spread it evenly, to the edges.
  4. Top with the other half of brie and spoon the onions on top.
  5. Gather the puff pastry around the brie, pinching the edges to seal against leaks.
  6. Whisk the egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush over the dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Notes

Yields: ~16 appetizer servings

Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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One of my favorite bloggers, Josie of Pink Parsley Catering, blogged a homemade applesauce a little while back that stopped me dead in my tracks. Once I recovered, I headed straight to the kitchen. The Foodie Baby, boy, was she in for a treat!

I temporarily retired last fall, so I had “plenty” (ha!) of time to make our daughter’s baby food. Early on, I’d block out several hours on a weekend to cook and freeze loads of food. Now that she’s older, I don’t have to put quite that much effort into things.

Applesauce is one of her favorites. It’s super, super easy to make – if you don’t count peeling the apples. My veggie peeler didn’t make the move with the rest of us so I have to use a pairing knife. And every time I finish peeling the last apple, I look down in amazement that I still have all my fingers. Truly a miracle.

I’ve been making two variations for The Foodie Baby (and me), both containing cranberries. Both sauces are excellent slathered on a slice of crusty bread with melty brie, so for Thanksgiving, I’m making brie en croute with the Orange Cran-Apple Sauce. Can’t wait!

Vanilla Bean Cranberry-Apple Sauce and Orange Cranberry-Apple Sauce

Two versions of homemade cranberry-apple sauce: Vanilla Bean and Orange. Perfect as a baby food and big people snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs Jonagold apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Simply Apple juice (or 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)*

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook covered for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the cranberries have burst.
  2. Add sugar to taste, if necessary
  3. Let cool and store covered in the fridge.
  4. *Use the vanilla bean paste or the scrapings of 1 whole vanilla bean in the apple version, eliminate it in the orange version.

Notes

Yields: ~3 cups

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living and Pink Parsley Catering

Estimated time: 1 hour

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