Every year for the past 6, I have gone to very dear friends' house for Thanksgiving. I would travel up to Seattle from Texas and stay for the long weekend. It was a trip I always looked forward to. Their house was always the right amount of cozy and relaxing, mixed into a fun adventure.
Our Thanksgiving day tradition is an eclectic collection of friends and friends of friends that need a place to go on Thanksgiving. It always makes for an unexpected day filled with great food from people's childhoods. I am headed over there on Thursday - very thankful.
One of my favorite foods on the table is my hostess' take on cranberry sauce - except really good! It is more of a chutney (without the vinegar component) and yea it is great on turkey, blah, blah, blah, but most importantly it is good with EVERYTHING else! My favorite is on the morning after Thanksgiving to have it on toast with a little butter and then slather on the cranberry chutney. I have made it as a cheesecake topping. I have had it on grilled cheese. I would put it on a bison burger - just thought of that, yum! It would be delicious on vanilla ice cream. I have mashed it down and strained it into vodka for a festive martini! This stuff is GOOOOD!
Best of all it is SO simple to make. It is a combination of apricot and cranberry so it has sweetness and tartness but just enough of each. The cardamon compliments both fruits and adds a lovely warmth to the chutney. It is a snap to make and don't limit yourself to Thanksgiving - it is great all times of year! It would also make great holiday gifts!
Cranberry Sauce with Dried Apricots and Cardamom
8 whole green cardamom pods
1 3/4 cups canned apricot nectar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1 6-ounce package dried apricots, quartered
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Coarsely crush cardamom in mortar with pestle or place in resealable plastic bag and crush with rolling pin; discard skins.
Bring next 5 ingredients and cardamom to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add apricots; cook 2 minutes. Add cranberries and cook until berries pop, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Mix in lemon peel. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Serve cold or at room temperature.