Friday, October 24, 2008

Savory Cranberries

When we think of cranberries it is mostly in a sweet sauce, bread or dessert. The subtle sweet tart flavor is amazing when mixed with meat, chicken fish and even baking. Such robust fall seasonings like rosemary, thyme, sage and even garlic compliments this berry so nicely. Be creative and add some traditional zest to your meals.

Roasted Garlic, Cranberry and Rosemary Biscuits
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter—10 tablespoons cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled, 2 tablespoons melted
3 cloves garlic, minced and sautéed
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1-cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chilled butter and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas. Stir in garlic, rosemary, cranberries and walnuts. Stir in the buttermilk just until the dough is moistened. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. Using a floured 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out biscuit rounds as closely together as possible. Gather the scraps and knead them together 2 or 3 times, then flatten the dough and stamp out more biscuit rounds. Pat the remaining scraps together and gently press them into a biscuit. Transfer the biscuits to a large baking sheet and brush the tops with melted butter. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Cranberry Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 shallots, finely chopped
2-teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon Sage
1/2-teaspoon white pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 bag Fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
1/2-cup sugar
1-teaspoon cornstarch
8 chicken breasts

Sautee shallots over medium heat until tender. Add sage and thyme and sauté for one minute. Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cranberries and sugar and boil until cranberries burst, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Whisk it in and return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add white pepper. And serve over chicken. (To bake the chicken I slather with butter, thyme and sage. Cook at 400 for about 45 minutes until cooked through and golden. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the chicken.

Chilean Sea bass with Cranberry Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons orange juice
1-cup cranberries
1-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-cup vegetable stock
4 (8 ounce) Chilean sea bass fillets
1/4-cup all-purpose flour
1/2-cup butter
1/3-cup shallots, minced
In a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan, combine orange juice, cranberries, pumpkin pie spice and stock. Bring to boiling over high heat cover pan, remove from heat, and set aside. Rinse sea bass and pat dry. Lightly dust with flour. In a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons butter. Add the fish; cook until fish is opaque in thickest part about 3 minutes on a side. Place on serving dish; keep warm. . Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the shallots to pan; stir over medium heat until shallots are soft. Add cranberry mixture and boil, uncovered, until reduced to 3/4 cup. Reduce heat. Add remaining butter in 1 piece and stir constantly to incorporate it into sauce. Pour sauce over fish; serve at once.

Brisket With Portobello Mushrooms And Dried Cranberries
1 cup red wine
1-cup beef stock
1/2 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 sprig thyme, chopped
1 4-pound trimmed flat-cut brisket
12 ounces medium Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300. Whisk wine, stock, cranberry concentrate and flour to blend in medium bowl; pour into 15 x 10 x 2-inch roasting pan. Mix in onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Sprinkle brisket on all sides with salt and pepper. Place brisket, fat side up, in roasting pan. Spoon some of wine mixture over. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil.
Bake brisket until very tender, basting with pan juices every hour, about 3 1/2 hours. Transfer brisket to plate; cool 1 hour at room temperature. Thinly slice brisket across grain. Arrange slices in pan with sauce, overlapping slices slightly. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place mushrooms and cranberries in sauce around brisket. Cover pan with foil. Bake until mushrooms are tender and brisket is heated through, about 30 minutes. Transfer sliced brisket and sauce to platter and serve.

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