I had an absolutely fantastic weekend – just the kind that I needed after a long week of work. On Friday night, Kramer and I went to our favorite local bar, Maison Premiere, where we had some fabulous cocktails and lots of $1 oysters (thank you, happy hour). We go to this place all the time, so we were really excited for their new fall cocktail menu. I had an autumn julep that honestly tasted like apple pie – I was raving about it so much that the girl next to me ordered one herself. After drinks, we continued with our seafood theme and went out for sushi, after which we turned in for the night because I had to go into work the next morning for a few hours. When I got back home, Kramer and I watched a few episodes of The Wire (we’re on episode four of season four, finally), then headed out again to see the screening of our friend Morgan’s short film, Upload. He’s also trying to raise money through Kickstarter to fund this upcoming web series – I highly recommend throwing a few bucks his way if you can; that way, you can say that you donated to his series when he inevitably becomes a hotshot Hollywood director (people still say hotshot, right?). On Sunday, Kramer and I just hung out, baking, cooking, and watching more episodes of the The Wire. We didn’t get a chance to watch The Walking Dead season premiere or the new episode of Boardwalk Empire, because we are old foagies and fell asleep before they aired, but I can’t wait to watch them both tonight.
I know that it may be a bit early to start talking cranberries (I know this especially because I had the hardest time even finding frozen cranberries in the store), but the holidays always seem to sneak up on you, so I wanted to be prepared with a bunch of fresh new recipes for the upcoming festivities. My brothers and I are big cranberry fiends – when we were kids, my mom would have to force us to eat the other food on our plate, because we were honestly just interested in the cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes (mixed together, of course – if you haven’t tried it, trust me on this). Kramer, sadly, isn’t as big of a cranberry fan as I am, so I didn’t even bother making any cranberry sauce during our first Thanksgiving alone as a married couple last year…mostly because I knew I would eat the entire bowl myself. This year, though, we had a small party (which I will post about soon) and I wanted to have some Thanksgiving-themed food. I decided that this was the perfect opportunity for some cranberry action, but I wanted to make something a bit more interesting than the usual cranberry sauce. I had some jalapeno peppers and fresh ginger, so I threw those in and before I knew it, I had some of the most delicious cranberry chutney that I’d ever tasted. All of the flavors compliment each other beautifully, from the tart, juicy cranberries, to the fresh bite of ginger, to the slight kick from the jalapeno. This chutney is wonderful on just about everything, too – turkey, sandwiches, on its own, and of course, on top of some mashed potatoes (seriously, try it!). Thanksgiving is just a little over a month away, so when you begin planning your menu, I hope you’ll give this chutney a try.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, minced well
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (if using frozen, do not thaw them out beforehand)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Heat your olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat, then add in your shallots and cook for 5 minutes or so, until softened. Add in the jalapeno pepper and ginger, and saute for another 4-5 minutes, until fragrant. Add in the cranberries, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cider vinegar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Taste and adjust any flavors as necessary. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 10 days.