Gourmet Galley: Cranberries

Advocate file photoLooking for a colorful snack to serve at parties or maybe on weekend afternoons when you're relaxing after a day spent shopping or baking?  Try Fresh Cranberry Salsa, at left, or Versatile Cranberry Sauce..
Advocate file photoLooking for a colorful snack to serve at parties or maybe on weekend afternoons when you're relaxing after a day spent shopping or baking? Try Fresh Cranberry Salsa, at left, or Versatile Cranberry Sauce..

corinne cook

Fresh cranberries lend their tartness and cheery color to many dishes.

The only cranberry I knew growing up was the jellied cranberry sitting on a pretty dish at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Today, cranberries are so popular, they’re paired year-round with pork, game and poultry. We’re seeing them on sandwiches, and the dried, sweetened berries appear in every kind of salad.

Fresh cranberries are plentiful at this time of year, and two cranberry recipes from my files are sure winners. I served the Fresh Cranberry Salsa at a meeting at my house last week and it was quite a hit. The recipe came from Norma Roberts.

Fresh cranberries are mixed with sugar, cilantro, fresh jalapeƱ os, green onions and olive oil and served with tortilla chips. That is a perfect blend of flavors. Even those of us who shy away from cilantro like this dish.

As the berries marinate, juice forms, so you may have to pour off some of the juice before placing in serving dish.

The next is a Southern Living magazine recipe from quite a few years ago, though I do not have the date. It’s a cooked sauce that has raisins, apple, grated ginger and nuts in it.

That one also can be served as an appetizer with crackers, over a block of cream cheese or as an accompaniment with turkey or meat.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.