Does the cranberry sauce that usually graces your holiday table earn the ho-hum, same-old, everyday-regular, essential-but-not-praiseworthy, good-but-not-great award?
Is it because, with all the other cooking that’s required at this time of the year, you find it much easier to just open up a can?
Who in the world has the time to make homemade cranberry sauce, anyway?
Well, what if the cranberry sauce turned out to be amazingly delicious and it was the one recipe everyone requested?
And what if, it took less than 10 minutes to put together?
That’s the story of this beautiful, bright-flavored Super Easy, Crazy Delicious Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce – and this is how it works. Pick up a bag of fresh cranberries, a nice big pomegranate (they’re in prime season right now and one of my local stores is selling them 10 for $10!). If you’re a super gourmet cook and/or have plenty of time on your hands, throw a piece of fresh ginger and a stalk of lemongrass in your cart as well. If you’re like me, a bit lazy and usually in a big hurry at this time of year, just pick up tubes of fresh ginger and lemongrass* while you’re passing through the produce department. You probably have everything else you need for this delicious condiment.
When you get home, go ahead and make the sauce, as it’s one of those wonderful recipes that can be made a day or two in advance. Begin by rinsing the cranberries and throwing them into a medium-size pot. Add water, sugar and honey and bring the whole works to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes, till the berries have popped and the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, let it cool, then add the ginger, lemongrass and pom arils. You’re done! Well, except for one thing: take a taste… no, no, no, you can’t eat the whole bowl now, it’s for Thanksgiving, remember?
And when Thanksgiving is over, if you have any left, I’ve got a wonderful idea for you. The sauce adds a delicious, gourmet touch to a grilled sandwich! Layer leftover turkey, a dollop of Super Easy, Crazy Good Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce and a slice or two of your favorite cheese (we love Havarti) between two slices of whole grain bread. Grill the sandwich with a bit of olive oil, till golden and the cheese is melted. So darn good!
Oh, and for a fun and wonderful appetizer, try this: arrange a tray with a log of goat cheese, some nice crackers or crostini and a bowl of Super Easy, Crazy Good Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce showered with finely chopped parsley or cilantro. Let everyone make their own little bruschetta. Don’t expect a crumb left!
Bon Appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!
* I always keep tubes of ginger, lemongrass and chili pepper paste on hand. They can be stored in the freezer, so they last indefinitely. These fresh tasting stir-in pastes are really nice to have when I decide to make something on the spur of the moment and during busy times of the year (like the holidays). Having them in the freezer is a real lifesaver. I let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes till thawed enough to squeeze out what I need.
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- 12 ounces whole, fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh lemongrass
- 1 ¼ cups pomegranate arils (seeds)
- finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, if desired
- Place the cranberries, water, sugar and honey in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to boil.
- Cook for 6 minutes, maintaining a steady boil, but watch carefully that sauce does not bubble up over the top of the pan. Stir frequently during this 6 minute cooking time.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes then add ginger, lemongrass and stir well to combine. Add pomegranate arils (seeds) and gently stir. May be be prepared 1-2 days in advance. To keep the sauce really pretty, store pomegranate arils separately and add them just before serving.
- Makes about 2½ cups of sauce.