Oh my gosh is your kitchen looking like mine as the days count down to Christmas? Bags of chocolate chips, flour everywhere, rolling pins and candies and sugar, oh my! And here it is December 20th & I am starting to realize that I just might not accomplish everything I’ve been hoping to before the big day. Mostly because I keep adding things, lol! But I want to back away from the baking (that should be a Meme, shouldn’t it?) and share out this perfect little accompaniment to just about any holiday meal, Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce.
I dunno, maybe some of you guys only think of cranberry sauce with your Thanksgiving turkey, and maybe some of you don’t think of it at all! But this is not your Grandma’s cranberry sauce unless you’re one of my sweet grandbabies! This is the cranberry sauce that’s gonna change your mind.
About Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
This one is a little intense, spicy (it won’t blow your mind, it’s just nice spice) and citrussy and almost a little sweet-sour candy-like all highlighted with a hint of ginger. I call it a sauce, it’s maybe not quite, but it’s not quite a relish and it’s not quite a chutney. It defies categorization, I guess. And defies a few flavor rules. Don’t tell Santa, but I might be a bit of a rebel with this sauce. Umm, obviously my life might be tamer than yours if this, for me, is rebel status!
And yes, you can serve this with your Thanksgiving (or Christmas) turkey or your roast (use this method to cook your roast, on my Poor Man’s Mock Prime Rib. It’s the BEST method to cook any roast) if you’re having one. And this sauce goes with just about any holiday meal. It’s such a nice counterbalance to just about anything rich with lots of gravy and mashed potatoes. I made it with the Slow Cooker Stuffed Pork Loin we had for Thanksgiving. Hey, that was another rebel move, foregoing the turkey on National Turkey Day! What will I do next?
That’s question was rhetorical but to answer, I would take a little of that leftover sauce and serve it with some pastry-wrapped Brie if I had Brie in the house. Or if I had little baby frozen phyllo cups, I’d bake them off and fill them with some cream cheese and top them with this sauce. But since I don’t have Brie or Phyllo cups, I’ll schmear a few crackers with some cream cheese and dollop a little of this cranberry sauce on top. Maybe add a jaunty sprig of chive. Easy peasy appetizer.
Making Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
Any cranberry sauce is usually pretty easy. This one is especially so. Just dump all the ingredients in a saucepan, slowly bring up to a simmer, stirring now and then. I love using my easy Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos in this recipe but fresh will do, too.
Once the sugar has melted into a sauce, you can let it go and simmer, just stirring now and then, for about 15 to 20 minutes, What you’re looking for is the cranberries to pop and the sauce to be nice and thickened like a jam; much thicker than your standard cranberry sauce. Just keep a watchful eye on it; you don’t want to scorch it. And watch those popping cranberries. They’re hot and can spatter. Turn down the heat if it seems like it’s getting crazy.
Chill your sauce; it will thicken up more. If it does become too thick for your taste, just add a little bit of warm water, maybe a tablespoon at a time. Cranberry sauce is basically a jam. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge; all that sugar is a preservative. If you see a little separation, just stir it back together.
Shortcut this Recipe:
Use store-bought Picked Jalapenos instead of fresh jalapenos or homemade Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos.
Saving Money on Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
If tangerines are pricey, replace them in this recipe with common naval oranges. Jalapenos are an item I pick up bagged at Aldi. Any I don’t use fresh, I roast off, peel and seed and place one or two in small Ziplocs so I have them on hand for recipes or I pickle them using this recipe for Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos, which buys a few weeks.
A while back, my freezer was stolen (that’s a different story) and I have yet to replace it, but cranberries are one item I would always stock up on when the great sales hit around the winter holidays. I use them all year round for things like muffins and quick breads. After the holidays you can still buy cranberries, but they’re sometimes twice as much. No prep is needed, just toss the bags in the freezer. If you’re planning on keeping them for months, it’s a good idea to put ht bags inside a Ziploc.
If you’re curious how much it costs to run a freezer, the average is about $4.99 a month. Less than the cost of a Big Mac. Just sayin’. You might want to take a peek at my articles on Banking Your Food and Freezer Options.
Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
- Category: Sauces
- Cuisine: American
- 1 bag of fresh or frozen whole cranberries
- 1 to 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced or equivalent amount of pickled jalapenos
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger or about 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 cup sugar
- Zest and juice of 2 tangerines
- salt & pepper to taste
Add the cranberries, jalapenos, ginger, and sugar to a medium saucepan. Zest and juice the tangerines over the saucepan. Bring the pan to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is melted.
Turn heat down to a simmer and cook slowly until the juices are thickened, the cranberries have popped, and the mixture is jammy, stirring frequently.
Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Let cool completely and serve.
Keywords: Appetizer, Condiments, cranberries, cranberry sauce, Hot Peppers, Jalapeno, Orange, Sauces