Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

NPR nerds, this recipe is for you. Every year Susan Stamberg comes on the air to share her mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish. Although perhaps most closely associated with Susan Stamberg, this recipe is actually Craig Claiborne's was clipped from a 1959 issue of the New York Times by Stamberg's mother-in-law. I'm a huge fan of cranberry sauce and couldn't imagine Thanksgiving without it, but this list of ingredients is a strange enough combination to make even the biggest cranberry sauce fan pause for a second or two. But it's always gotten rave reviews so I decided this year, my second hosting a Thanksgiving meal, was the year to try it out.

With the first taste, I thought the relish was fine, but nothing special. But the more I ate, the more I loved it! I went back for a second helping of turkey in large part because I wanted to slather it with more cranberry relish. The horseradish flavor is strong, but is in nice balance with the rich sour cream and tart cranberries. I think I'll be making this more than just on Thanksgiving and looking to put my own little twist on this recipe.

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
via NPR, originally from the New York Times

2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
1 small onion
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is a bit milder than white")

1. Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind — not a puree.")

2. Add everything else and mix. Put in a plastic container and freeze.

3. Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some little icy slivers left.") The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. Its also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.")

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