After a well earned break I've realised that it has been over a week since I tapped at my keyboard. The turkey is almost finished, and with an 18 pound monster trying to feed only 7 people (I had illness in the family and a few dropped out), that is some feat. The last of the carcass is going into a spiced parsnip and turkey soup at lunchtime and then we can kiss goodbye to the gobbling one for another year.
Of course, this is the time of the year when leftover suppers become the norm. Getting creative with a cold turkey carcass and a few leftover roast spuds and sprouts can be testing, especially when you have had the bird for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Personally, I love leftovers. I can make a veritable feast with the most unimaginative of ingredients. Maybe it is just me enjoying whatever I knock up, but I can stretch it out and run that overloaded fridge down in no time. Soups, stews, casseroles, sandwiches, omelettes or just a plate of cold leftovers with cheese, bread and pickles. And that one is probably my favourite.
This pickle, or relish, is one I turn to every year. We all reach for the cranberry sauce or jelly on Christmas Day, but I find them a little too sweet on a savoury plate for my palate. And once you have had a spoonful on your plate, it tends to sit in the fridge, slowly making its way to the back until discovered the following Christmas. I prefer something sharper, which means it can be used over the Christmas fallout with cheese and cold meats or even stirred into a soup. So make the most of the bags of half price cranberries you will find for sale right now and make my versatile little number. Packed with spice and fruit, it improves with age and makes that leftover plate a little more classier.
Cranberry and Chilli Relish
Makes 1 large jar
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 tbps olive oil
50g demerara sugar
250g cranberries, washed
Zest and juice of 2 satsumas
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
150ml cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 - Heat up the oil in a large pan then add the onions and garlic. Soften for 5 minutes, then add the sugar. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes until golden
2 - Tip in the spices, then stir in the cranberries, zest and juice and finally the vinegar. Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer with the lid half on for 30-40 minutes until everything is well reduced and the cranberries have completely burst and released their juices. You are looking for a thick, jammy texture.
3 - Remove the cinnamon stick. Grind in a little salt and pepper. Pour into a sterilised jar. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months, if it lasts that long.
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