Cranberry sauce is a must-have at any turkey dinner, and every year I like to try out a new recipe. This year, however, I went back to a tried and true recipe that I love: Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel. The name may sound fancy but it’s super easy to make. This delicious crimson sauce is lightly flavored with citrus and spice while the Zinfandel adds richness without tasting winey. Serve alongside roast turkey, chicken, or pork.
I used 6 whole cloves and 1 cinnamon stick for just a hint of spice flavor, and 2 strips of orange peel. For another layer of flavor, I added 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and some freshly ground pepper to the simmering wine-sugar mixture (straining out the thyme and the spices before proceeding with the recipe). The sauce is good as written; I just wanted to play with the recipe and was happy with what I came up with. The first time I made it, I used Pinot Noir instead of Zinfandel (it worked great, too). Next time I make it, I might reduce the sugar a bit. For an easy appetizer, serve the cranberry sauce over cream cheese and spread on crackers.
Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel
-recipe from epicurious.com
Yield: Makes about 3 cups
1 3/4 cups red Zinfandel
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 3×1-inch strip orange peel
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
Combine all ingredients except cranberries in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 10 minutes. Strain syrup into large saucepan. Add cranberries to syrup and cook over medium heat until berries burst, about 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer sauce to medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cold. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.)