It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and I've had a fun day prepping. Several things are best made ahead so that the cooking doesn't get overwhelming the day of the big dinner. And, every year I have to take at least one dish and change it up so that the meal doesn't get too traditional. This year I chose to change the Cranberry Sauce and convert it into a slightly more savory relish. I decided to go with some vaguely Middle Eastern flavors as I decided on using Pomegranate Molasses instead of Vinegar. That led me to adding some chopped Dates and Honey and some Shallots sautéed in Olive Oil. I also added a tiny bit of Cinnamon to give it that special flavor and some Chicken Broth to make it more savory. It reminded me a bit of Fessenjan without the Walnuts and I love it! I did make a regular, simpler Cranberry Sauce for the purists in my family, but I am very pleased with this new version - it's tart and tangy with a deep sweetness from the Honey and Dates and savory too from the Chicken Broth and Shallots. This may be a regular on my Thanksgiving table!
Cranberrry Relish with Middle Eastern Flavors
1 12 oz bag of fresh Cranberries, washed and picked over (remove soft ones)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Shallots, minced
1/4 cup chopped Dates
3 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 cup Pomegranate Molasses (can substitute Lemon Juice)
1 large clove Garlic, Minced
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Chicken Broth (can also use Vegetable Broth or Water)
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the Shallots and Garlic. Cook until softened. Stir in the Dates, Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, Chicken Broth and Salt. Cook until the Cranberries pop stirring frequently and the sauce is thickened. Chill to serve later.
Five Element Analysis
Cranberries belong to the Fire Element as does the Pomegranate Molasses, but they are both so sour that they bring in the Wood Element too. The Chicken Broth adds more of the Wood Element. The Fire Element is represented by the Dates and Honey and the Garlic and Shallots contribute the Metal Element. Only the Water Element is missing so this condiment would also be great with Fish or Pork and is a good Fire Element addition to a multi course meal like Thanksgiving!