Yesterday, I hosted a fall harvest dinner in lieu of Thanksgiving as part of the cookbook photo shoots I’ve planned for this month. The meal was wildly successful thanks to the helping hands of my mom and sister, but no one was more supportive than Rob, who dedicated a large amount of his holiday long weekend to helping me achieve my vision for the party. This included, but was not limited to, last minute runs to Home Depot for wood, braving Costco on a Saturday morning, and driving across the city to pick up something I had rented.
The end result was a large group of us feasting outdoors in the afternoon sun with cameras close at hand, music playing in the background, fairy lights strung above the table, and bellies full from too much food. In fact, we ate so much there was little leftover, save for some spice cake that made its way into the boys midday meal, and jars of condiments hoping to find another use sometime this season.
I suspect I’m not the only person staring down a fridge full of leftovers, and while we’re all certain to know what to do with the leftover meat, repurposing your cranberry condiments is another thing altogether. The good news is, your sauces and relishes will last for a long while if you choose to do nothing with them, but where is the fun in that? Instead, I’m thinking let’s all be creative and make use of the good stuff while we have it hanging around.
Here are 15 ways I’m thinking of using it up my homemade cranberry relish in the coming weeks; I already started with idea number four.
- Bake it into pretty much anything – quick breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles, or yeast breads. Consider adding a few dollops to your cinnamon bun recipe before rolling up and cutting the dough.
- Stir it into yogurt or oatmeal.
- Top a wheel of brie with some of the leftover sauce, bake it, and serve with crackers, baguette, and grapes.
- Make a sandwich – a brie and cranberry grilled cheese is pretty special, as is a turkey/chicken sandwich with greens, aged cheddar, and a smear of cranberry sauce.
- Stuff it inside or smother over pork tenderloin, and bake.
- Sauté onions and garlic in a skillet; add chicken pieces and brown them on both sides. Pour in some wine or chicken stock, add a few spoonfuls of cranberries sauce and stir. Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes to braise the chicken. Remove the meat to a plate and reduce the sauce on the stovetop until it’s thick and syrupy; pour over the chicken and serve.
- Use as a condiment for turkey burgers; or stuff your turkey meatballs with it.
- Add it to a berry or banana smoothie.
- Purée sauce and combine with lemon juice, water and sugar/sweetener for a cranberry lemonade; add vodka, if desired.
- Warm the sauce gently over low heat and spoon over vanilla ice cream.
- Stir it into frosting and ice a cake with it.
- Make a salad dressing by mixing cranberry sauce with olive oil and balsamic vinegar – purée it first if desired.
- Combine with cream cheese and make a homemade flavoured spread for bagels.
- Make a cranberry cocktail by puréeing cranberry sauce and combining it with vodka before topping with soda water. Alternatively, simmer puréed sauce with orange juice until thick and syrupy, pour into a glass filled with ice, and top with sparkling water for a simple cranberry soda.
- Make a cranberry apple pie by adding ¾ - 1 cup of sauce to your apple pie filling.