Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Post-Script...

Everybody just hang on a minute. I had a serious revision to my Thanksgiving menu this year, and I'm pretty sure you should know about it, ASAP. After beaucoup de recherche (lots of searching) we COULD NOT find cranberries in this country. Upon reflection, it probably has something to do with them being a.) not grown anywhere on this continent b.) not very popular, even in the places their grown. I was even so thorough as to send a friend to Marks & Sparks in the 15th arrondissement to survey their "American Food" section, which has the reputation for being the place to find what you can't find anywhere else. No dice! HOWEVER, John optimistically brought home a bag of frozen "griottes" which could easily be mistaken for cranberries when you're standing among the rows of freezer cases in your local Picard. * 

After asking google translate what he'd just bought, we debated using Martha Stewart's regular "Cranberry Chutney" recipe and just substituting for the cranberries, or looking for a recipe that actually called for Sour Cherries (aka griottes). While hunting around, I found this recipe, and after vacillating because I'd already grated the ginger and minced the shallot for Martha's recipe, I decided to roll up my sleeves and try something new. 

Holy s%#t guys! This chutney is OFF THE HOOK. 

I mixed and matched a little-- basically smashed Martha's recipe into this "Garlic Pig" and I've been eating it by the spoonful since it came off the stove. I know you wish I'd told you about this yesterday, but I was too busy cooking to blog. However, you could make it now and still enjoy it with your mountain of leftovers!!  : )

This is my revised version of the two recipes, combined: 
Incredible Garlicky Tart Cherry Chutney
16 oz frozen tart cherries
3/4 cup honey
1 rounded tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in about 1/4 cup of cold water
1 medium shallot, finely minced 
2 tablespoon of ginger – grated (a zester works great for this)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
ground white pepper (to taste)

Put frozen cherries and honey in a heavy sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Let the cherries cook and bubble, stirring occasionally, for about 15 – 20 minutes. While they cook, periodically take a fork to the cherries and mash them up to your desired consistency. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook a for a few minutes longer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

In another sauce pan, combine ginger, garlic, shallot, vinegar, honey and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until there is roughly 1/4 cup of thick liquid left. 

Add in the cherry sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix and bring to a gentle simmer fro about 5 -10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding a touch more honey, salt, or pepper if needed. Cool, store and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Enjoy your holiday weekend! 

*Picard is a chain shop here in France, devoted entirely to frozen foods. Heaven if you're a fan of frozen raspberries. And of course, because this is France, the cases consist primarily to frozen scallops, beautiful terrines wrapped in puff pastry, and exotic fruits in frozen form. There is nary a chicken nugget or brick of burrito to be found, and literally only one kind of frozen pizza in there. I know because we bought it. 

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