I love Thanksgiving prep - I always volunteer to do side dishes because I'm not a huge turkey fan and I'm certainly not the world's best baker (I like to leave the pie to the pros). Every year I spend the days leading up to Thanksgiving watching the Food Network Thanksgiving videos, pouring over my Thanksgiving magazines and trying to find a way to do something unique with traditional sides (i.e. mashed potatoes are great but isn't there something EXTRA that can be done to make them even better? this is my quest).
This year I was in charge of the stuffing, the brussel sprouts and, according to my mom, "something else." I became fixated on the 'something else' and finally settled on cranberry sauce, Thanksgivings most underrated side dish. Every year the cranberry sauce sits practically untouched, and the canned stuff has just never worked for me. After some digging around, I came across Claire Robinson's Spicy Cranberry Chutney - I knew that adding jalapenos to traditional cranberry sauce was a risk worth taking.
This recipe couldn't be easier to make, and if you've never had homemade cranberry sauce - I absolutely suggest you give it a try. Homemade cranberry sauce doesn't have that syrupy sweetness that the jarred and canned stuff has - I love the tartness and the ability to control the flavor. This recipe has sweetness that comes from the juice and zest of two limes and two oranges with a kick of heat (think quick kick of spice, rather thank overwhelmingly hot) from 2-3 jalapenos. What I really loved about this recipe is that the cranberry sauce really soaks up the flavor of the peppers making it so unique and interesting (perfect for my fellow non-traditionalists).
The other benefit of making 5 cups of homemade cranberry chutney? The leftovers. This would be great spread on toast or used as a glaze on poultry or pork (or as a condiment served alongside grilled vegetables).
Now for a word on the healthy benefits of this recipe. I do consider this a healthy-ish recipe because it's made with natural ingredients. However, if you're watching your sugar intake just don't overdo it on the serving size (a few tablespoons should be enough).
What did you make for Thanksgiving? Would love to hear about anything that was epically awesome (or even epically not awesome).
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Spicy Cranberry Chutney