Flavorful cranberry recipes

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I look so forward to the arrival of fresh cranberries to the store every winter. The common combination of cranberries and orange to me is like candy and a flavor I have learned to love. I have a pretty large collection of cranberry recipes, and enjoy trying new ones quite often during the cranberry season. I purchase extra bags and freeze them to be able to enjoy all year through. Today I have just a couple of recipes for you to try and hope you enjoy these tart, little berries this winter.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed

Cooking spray

Sauce:

1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail

1 tablespoon grape jelly

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To prepare pork, combine first 4 ingredients; rub evenly over pork. Heat a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Place pan in oven; cook pork at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees (slightly pink). Place pork on a cutting board; keep warm.

To prepare sauce, add the chicken broth, dried cranberries and juice to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in jelly; cook 8 minutes or until mixture is slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Cut the pork into (1/2-inch) slices. Serve with sauce.

Cranberry Stuffing

1 (1 pound) loaf sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish. Combine the bread, cranberries, raisins and walnuts in a large bowl. Whisk together the brown sugar and butter in a separate bowl; season with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; stir into the bread cubes until evenly distributed. Spread the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp on top, 45 to 60 minutes.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Bacon

10 cups water

Salt

4 pounds Brussels sprouts

5 to 6 pieces bacon, minced

1 red onion, medium dice

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup dried cranberries

Fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook the sprouts until medium tenderness has been reached, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, in a large saucepan over medium heat fry the bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from the pan to a plate lined with a paper towel. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add red onion and 3 tablespoons of butter. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the red wine vinegar and brown sugar and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Drain the Brussels sprouts from water and add to pan with the onions. Stir to coat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in the reserved bacon and cranberries. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper; to taste and transfer to a serving bowl.

Orange Cranberry Bars

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cold butter

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Topping:

2 tablespoons beaten egg

1 1/2 teaspoons whole milk

3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2 tablespoons flaked coconut

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Press into an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the egg, milk, orange peel and vanilla. Combine sugar and flour; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well. Fold in the cranberries, coconut and pecans. Spread over crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 bars.

Cranberry and Cherry Walnut Pie

Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)

1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon 2 percent milk

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom pastry; trim to 1 inch beyond edge of plate. In a large bowl, combine the pie filling, cranberries, sugar, walnuts, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Spoon into crust. Dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut vents using decorative cookie cutters. Place pastry over filling; trim, seal and flute edges. Brush with milk; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cover edges with foil during the last 30 minutes to prevent over browning if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 servings.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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