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Published: Sunday, November 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Five creative variations on homemade cranberry sauce

  • From left to right: chipotle, ginger-miso, lemon tarragon, truffled, and sweet and smoky cranberry sauces.

    Matthew mead / associated press

    From left to right: chipotle, ginger-miso, lemon tarragon, truffled, and sweet and smoky cranberry sauces.

Unless you really crave those accordion-like ridges or consider Thanksgiving a failure without hearing that classic shplopping noise, you have no excuse for resorting to canned cranberry sauce.
Homemade cranberry sauce is wildly better than anything you can buy, and it takes little time or effort to make.
Plus, it's easy to take a basic sauce and doctor it up in so many delicious ways.To help you along on your journey from can to greatness, we offer a base recipe for a delicious brown sugar and orange cranberry sauce, plus five ways of taking the flavor in crazy delicious directions.

Cranberry sauce six ways
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • Pinch of salt
In a saucepan over medium-high, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have popped and softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and select one of the flavor combinations below. Makes 8 servings.
Chipotle: Add 1 minced chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo). Let cool, then stir in 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro.
Truffled: Allow to fully cool, then stir in 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives.
Sweet and smoky: Stir in 1/2 cup crumbled well-cooked bacon, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and an extra 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Lemon-tarragon: Stir in 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon and the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
Ginger-miso: Stir in 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons sweet white miso.
Story tags » FoodCookingThanksgiving

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