I am a Golden God—err—at least a Cranberry Queen this weekend. Friendsgiving, hosted by my friend Elyssa, seemed to have the classics cornered. A free-range, kill-your-own turkey from a farm in Wisconsin, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, brussel sprouts, asparagus and dessert were all claimed; all that was left was to take on was the cranberry element of the dinner. Saturday, I showed how to make Chocolate Truffles with Pecans and Dried Cranberries, but someone else had officially called the sweets, so I had to bring something of substance.
So as I visually tell the tale of Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine, Pomegranate Molasses and Mediterranean Herbs, I want you to imagine a small woman on a Bekvam stool, trying to peer over a hot stove and giant pot with an iPhone (no longer protected under the Apple Care contract).
Just before the party, I added the fresh herbs. While you can make the cranberries a week in advance, it is recommended that the herbs wait to be added until approximately four hours before serving.
I would like to say these went well, but alas, despite my diligent "dibs" on cranberries, another person arrived with cranberry relish and stole the sweet spot right next to the big bird. Those who did take from the RIGHTFUL cranberry sauce said it was delicious and the flavor was complex—its robust and exotic flavorings complimented the wide variety of side dishes, along with the main course, delightfully. I mean, they didn't say it out loud, but that's what I gathered from staring them down while they ate.
Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine, Pomegranate Molasses and Mediterranean Herbs
Makes: 2 1/2 cups | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
1/4 teaspoon (scant) dried basil
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons sliced fresh mint
- Stir sugar and wine in heavy deep medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil over medium-high heat until syrup is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 8 minutes.
- Add cranberries; boil until berries to pop, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in pomegranate molasses and basil. Cool completely. Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.
- Stir in chopped cilantro and sliced mint. This step can be done 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
* A thick pomegranate syrup; available at some supermarkets, at Middle Eastern markets, and from adrianascaravan.com.