Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, focusing on the birth of Christ, gathering with family, singing carols, and most especially I love the looks on my children's faces Christmas morning. My SECOND favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. My reason? Simply put, I love good food. This morning I had a call from a friend asking for my turkey brine recipe because she tried it last year and loved it. Well, the recipe is not "mine" per say but I'm always happy to pass along good recipes. In fact, this brine recipe is so good it recently bested Bobby Flay in a...Throwdown! THE Bobby Flay! How exciting is that?!?
For all you food loving fans, here are a couple of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will be gracing my menu plan this week:
Okay. My Thanksgiving confession is I don't like cranberry sauce. My first impression of the sauce was as a young child at my grandmother's house. I still remember seeing the ring marks from a can on the jelly-like red substance that stood firm in the serving bowl. I guess even as a child I felt that if a food looked far from it's natural state it wouldn't taste good (and most likely wasn't healthy for me).
I probably never gave the stuff a fair taste test until a few years ago when my dad made this recipe. As a little introduction to my wonderful dad, he loves stores that give samples (Trader Joes, Costco) and most of the time he gets the recipe, buys the ingredients and makes the dish at home. Yes, that marketing strategy works very well on my dad. I love this version of cranberry sauce or relish to be exact. It's light and fruity and most definitely fresh. I'm excited to make this recipe for our Thanksgiving seeing as we now live in Hawaii and can include fresh pineapple. I LOVE pineapple bought fresh on the islands. Mmmm.. Now if I can only find a market that sells sugarloaf or white pineapples I will be completely pineappley satisfied.
Cape Cod Cranberry Relish
Slightly adapted from recipe featured at a local Albertsons store; source is Decas Cranberry Sales, Inc.
1 lb fresh cranberries, washed and picked through
2 small navel oranges, well washed (or 1 large)
1 c sugar
half a fresh pineapple, cut in 1-in chunks (or canned pineapple tidbits)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut in 1-in chunks
1/2 c chopped dates
1 c chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Additional sugar, if necessary
Remove the peel of the oranges with a zester. Place the peel and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until peel is ground and well mixed with sugar. Scrape frequently. Add the cranberries and pulse until chopped well. Place in a large mixing bowl. Remove the white pith from the remaining oranges, cut oranges into 2" chunks, and process in the food processor by pulsing quickly. Add to cranberries and orange. Repeat the process with the fresh pineapple chunks and apples and add to cranberries and orange. Add the chopped dates and nuts to the cranberries and fruit, stir well and cover. If desired, add additional sugar to taste. Refrigerate 24 hours before serving. Serves 4-6.