Lindsay Maitland Hunt

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Posts in Thanksgiving
Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce
 
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Hear me out on cranberry sauce. This oft-maligned condiment is actually the stealth star of Thanksgiving.

You may casually spoon a jewel-toned dollop between sweet potatoes and stuffing just for color, but, sure enough, it sneaks onto every forkful, where it can make or break each bite. It's not worth messing with a meal you wait all year for, so this time, why not give it a little extra love?

As for the recipe. You may be thinking: two posts in a row with fresh ginger? She is crazy! Well, that may be true, but I love the spicy undertones ginger adds to sweet recipes. It anchors the sugar and offsets the tart cranberries, directing this under-appreciated dish away from cloying sweetness.

Plus, if you bought ginger to make spiced apple cider, then you probably have extra to use in this recipe.

Sure, you can dress up cranberry sauce with fresh lemon juice or just cook the berries with some sugar, but this slightly spicy rendition is sure to perk up the entire sideboard at your Thanksgiving meal.

Special thanks to Charlyne Mattox for introducing me to ginger-spiked relish. I don't think I'll ever turn back.

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Ginger-Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Ingredients: 3 ½ cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries ¾ cup sugar ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus two 2-inch strips of zest 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Equipment: A fine grater, such as a Microplane

Directions: 1. Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, ginger, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until about half of the cranberries have popped, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Cool the sauce and transfer to a serving dish. Cranberry sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Let come to room temperature before serving.

 
Gingery Spiced Apple Cider
 
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This is not news: It's freezing outside. You need something warm to wrap your hands around and maybe to sneak a shot of Bourbon into. I get it. This easy spiced cider recipe takes only five minutes of prep but will perfume your kitchen for a glorious half hour of simmering. Don't blame me if you feel the need to bust out in carols or spontaneously hug your roommate.

Bottle up extras to bring to a Friendsgiving potluck (it's great served cold over ice with a dash of spiced rum) or set a pot on as you watch the Thanksgiving Day parade.

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Gingery Spiced Cider Recipe Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Makes about 10 cups

Ingredients: 1 vanilla bean 1 gallon fresh apple cider, preferably unpasteurized ½ cup (60g) roughly chopped fresh ginger 2 cinnamon sticks 10 whole cloves ½ teaspoon whole allspice ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg) Whiskey or rum, for serving (optional)

Equipment: large pot, fine mesh strainer

Use a paring knife to cut along one vertical side of the vanilla bean open. Using the dull edge of the knife, gently scrape the seeds from top to bottom. Add the seeds and bean to a large pot with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover the pot and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the mixture has reduced by about one third, 30 to 40 minutes.

If serving immediately, strain into a clean pot and set over very low heat. Serve with whiskey or rum, if desired. Or, let cool, stirring occasionally, then strain. Reserve the vanilla bean.

Bottle with the vanilla bean in the original apple cider container or another vessel.

Bottled cider will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.