Cranberry Options To Help Your Family Love The Thanksgiving Treat

(KFSM) — The 5NEWS This Morning crew had a local chef come in Friday (Nov. 22) to talk about a divisive Thanksgiving side.

Chef Luke Wetzel of Bentonville’s Oven and Tap explained how cranberries can be used in more than just a controversial sauce.

Rustic Cranberry Sauce

-1 12oz. Bag Fresh Cranberries

-1 Cup Sugar

-1 Cup Water

-2-3 Strips of Orange and Lemon Zest

-1-2 Sprigs of Rosemary and/or Sage

-1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and place on high heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the cranberries to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened slightly.  Transfer the sauce to a medium-sized bowl and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Best served at room temperature.

Can Your Own Cranberries

Mix (1) packet of gelatin into ½ cup of cold water and allos it to bloom for 10 minutes.

Rinse and dry any 12oz. can.

Strain the Rustic Cranberry Sauce through a fine mesh strainer until you have about 1-½ cups of liquid.  Set the solids aside for a separate use.  Stir the bloomed gelatin into the cranberry liquid.  Add the liquid to the can and refrigerate overnight to allow the sauce to set. To serve, scoop jellied sauce onto a serving plate and garnish with grated orange zest.  Best served slightly chilled or a room temperature.

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing

-6 or so cups O&T Cornbread (recipe follows); broken into large pieces

-1 Yellow Onion; small diced

-2-3 Cloves garlic, minced

-2T Butter

-5-6 Fresh sage leaves, chopped

-3-4 Cups chicken or turkey stock

-1/2 Cup Rustic Cranberry Sauce

-Kosher Salt

Melt the butter over medium heat then add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are translucent and softened. Remove from the heat and add it sage.

Next, add the cornbread to a large bowl, breaking it up with your fingers. Add the stock, sautéed onions and garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Mix the dressing well.

Place dressing in a cast iron skillet or other baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the dressing is golden brown on top.

Cranberry Kir Royales

-6 oz. Sparkling wine; such as cava, prosecco, or champagne

-1/2 oz. Strained Rustic Cranberry Sauce

-Zest of Orange and/ Lemon

Pour sparkling wine into a glass of your choice. Add the cranberry sauce and stir to combine. Garnish with citrus zest. Serve immediately.

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