As a "Nearly-Wed", you are starting new traditions as a couple. One of the "biggies" - is Thanksgiving Dinner! Since I am far from the title of "domestic goddess", I rely on the talented people in the world around me to provide wisdom in their art and area of expertise. Chef Mary Ellen Rae from Hermosa Beach developed this recipe for a fresh cranberry relish which has been featured in the Los Angeles Times Food Section. It appears to be surprisingly simple to make - and even I might try this on Thanksgiving day...much to the surprise of my relatives, I'm sure!
As some of you may remember, last month I participated in a GREAT cooking class in Manhattan Beach - taught by Chef Mary Ellen Rae from Hermosa Beach. In anticipation of the big feast ahead, she has provided tips and her favorite Thanksgiving recipe for "nearly-wed" chefs ... and the rest of us, too!
Here's what Chef Mary Ellen says:
Thanksgiving dinners are filled with sacred family favorites, and unfortunately some family members are not willing to stray from the expected. I found that out one year when my editor at the L. A. Times asked me to develop a fresh cranberry relish for the Thanksgiving edition. I love the idea of a fresh (uncooked) relish instead of the usual stove top version. The texture is crisp and zingy and it only takes minutes to make. The tangerines and sugar soften the pucker of the berries and the blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and pepper in Chinese five spice powder add a beguiling new spice note. I serve this every year now, but I still hear from time to time, “Where’s the canned cranberries?”
Purchase spices in small quantities and store tightly sealed in a cool dark place. Experiment with small amounts of Chinese five spice powder mixed into spice rubs and marinades for poultry, pork and beef. Add to salt and brown sugar when roasting nuts or add a pinch to apple pie fillings.
Fresh Cranberry and Tangerine Relish (Serves 12)
Note: This recipe developed by Hermosa resident Mary Ellen Rae was adapted from article previously published in the Los Angeles Times Food Section.
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 seedless tangerine
½ cup sugar or more to taste
½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Rinse and drain the cranberries, discarding bruised ones. Peel the tangerine, scraping off excess strings from segments. Use a sharp paring knife to scrape the pith from the inside of half the peel and finely chop. Measure out 1 tablespoon, discard the rest.
Place the cranberries, tangerine segments, 1 tablespoon chopped peel, sugar and Chinese five spice powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 8 to 10 times to reach the desired coarse consistency, adding more sugar to taste. Spoon into a glass serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Stir before serving.
Chef Mary Ellen Rae is the owner of Personal Touch Gourmet; specializing in private and group in-home cooking classes and small event catering. Contact Personal Touch Gourmet at 310-403-5682 or MaryEllen@PersonalTouchGourmet.net