With the holidays come tradition. I say switch it up and keep them guessing, starting with the ubiquitous cranberry sauce. I've never liked it much, especially the gelatinous mess that comes out of a can. Sorry folks, but there's nothing appetizing about that and anything else that comes out of a can, for that matter.
Get yourself some fresh cranberries and spice up the sauce this year. Throw in less sugar, add a pinch of salt for balance, and then infuse it with ginger and green cardamom. Yep! Here's my recipe to add to your Thanksgiving meal.
You can make this sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to use. On Thanksgiving Day, be sure to bring it to room temperature, about 30 minutes before serving it. I recommend making the sauce a couple of days ahead of time. The longer it is infused with the cardamom, the tastier it is.
2 pounds fresh cranberries
2 ounces freshly grated ginger
20 or so whole green cardamom pods
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup filtered or spring water
In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add the cranberries, ginger, cardamom, sugar, salt, lemon and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook down until the fruit pops and the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. It should have a chunky thick consistency. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof jar or bowl.
TIP: It may seem like a lot of cardamom, but the whole pods are delicate and it will take a couple of days to really infuse the cranberry sauce. And, don't worry about straining the sauce. Simply remind your guests to put the cardamom pods on the side of their plates when they come across the occasional one. Not a big deal ;)