Food Network Magazine (November 2010)
Are we jaded?
Our taste buds, we mean.
We loved the notion of a spicy cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. It'd be a terrific way to add zing to the plate. We adore the tastes of Thanksgiving, but let's face it: the dishes can be a parade of familiar, middle-of-the-road flavors. "Zing-iness" isn't typically on the menu.
So we were excited to see these Red Devil Cranberries in Food Network Magazine. They're spicy! They're kicky! And they're from Guy Fieri! He's wild! And his flavors are Xtreme to the max! Hold onto your hats -- these cranberries are gonna rock your world!
Well, you can take your hands off your hats and consider your world decidedly un-rocked. These cranberries ain't all that.
It was a perfectly fine, middle-of-the-road cranberry salad with the oh-so-slightest hint of spice.
Maybe we're the problem. Maybe our tastebuds are jaded and this is spicy. Perhaps you'll think it's got plenty of kick.
But for a dish that associates its spice level with Mephistopheles, we found it sorely lacking in oomph.
Yes, these cranberries aren't very "red devil."
They're not even really "red bad guy."
We'd call 'em "Red Guy Who Uses the Express Checkout Lane With 16 Items in His Cart and Two Coupons" Cranberries.
Which isn't nearly as menacing -- or as exciting.
(This photo: Food Network Magazine)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced serrano chile pepper
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
1 blood orange
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, plus 1 teaspoon of the sauce
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and serrano pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the orange juice and agave syrup, bring to a simmer and add the cranberries. Cook at a low boil until the cranberries have all popped and are just starting to reduce, 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut off the top and bottom of the blood orange. Working over a bowl, peel the orange with a sharp knife, then slice between the membranes, letting the segments fall into the bowl. Stir the orange segments and any juice, the chipotle and adobo sauce, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the cranberries.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, about 20 minutes.