Tuesday, November 20, 2007

For the love of cranberries

I love cranberries! It's too bad we only really think about them during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't know about your area, but we can only get them fresh this time of year, too. Here are two recipes using fresh cranberries. So, get them while you can and try out these two tasty treats.

Frozen Cranberry Martini
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh cranberries washed and frozen
3 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
3 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Grand Marnier

Pour all ingredients into a blender. Fill with ice. Blend until smooth. You can add reserved sugar syrup (below) to sweeten to taste. Serves 4. Note: This recipe can be made ahead and stored in the freezer. Serve in a martini glass, garnish with a sugared cranberry and enjoy!

Sugared Cranberries (from Cooking Light December 2003)

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and picked

3/4 cup superfine sugar

Combine granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer (do not boil), and remove from heat, let cool slightly. You do not want the cranberries to pop. Stir in cranberries, pour into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl. Reserve the sugar syrup for mixing drinks (see above). Place the superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, roll to coat with sugar. Spread the sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature until dry. Store in an air tight container in a cool place for up to 1 week.

They look so pretty in a holiday bowl. They pop in your mouth, and are a surprizing sweet treat. The contrast between the sweet, candy like shell and the tart, juicy berry is nice. These are great to put out when entertaining, to use as a unique gift, or serve at a cocktail party.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. What are your favorite holiday recipes?