One of my jobs as a teenager every Thanksgiving and Christmas was to open the cranberry sauce, whack the opposite side of the can with an ice pick, slide out the contents into a pretty crystal dish and slice it (trying to cut so you couldn't see the rings). The best thing about the cranberry sauce was how pretty it looked in the crystal dish....and maybe getting to use the ice pick like a weapon! I ate the sauce because it was tradition, it certainly wasn't my favorite. It sat at the side of the plate and I ate it by itself. After all, it just seemed like a really fancy jello.
I don't know how I came across Emeril's recipe for Fresh Cranberry Compote but I am SO GLAD I did. It beats the canned stuff hands down. It is also EASY to make. If you had the canned stuff at Thanksgiving, don't worry, you have another chance to make this at Christmas. It looks so festive in a clear bowl on the table AND it is delicious! This compote goes wonderfully on turkey, pork or chicken.
Fresh Cranberry Compote:
6 oz. fresh cranberries: washed, rinsed and picked over
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. water
zest of one orange
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
In a non reactive, non-stick saucepan, over medium, combine the cranberries, zest, 1/2 cup sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon.
I like to zest the orange right over the pan that way the essential oils (flavor!) get in the pan.
Bring the cranberries to a boil over medium-high heat. They will burst as they cook and make a little "pop" sound when they do. Cook for 10 min.
While they cook, in a small bowl, combine the fresh squeezed orange juice with the cornstarch.