November 22, 2015 | Posted by Sally Jackson
Every year, about this time, I take part in The Great Cranberry Debate. It goes something like this (and it’s entirely in my head): Do I stick with my favorite simple sauce or branch out? Bobby makes a clementine cranberry sauce that’s so good, it has inspired me to try something new this year (while still making the classic, of course).
I’m not sure if it’s my Massachusetts home pride or just because I love anything tart and jammy, but a good cranberry sauce is one of my favorite parts of the holiday spread. I’m admittedly a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving, and I always make the simplest of recipes, the one that I grew up with, and that’s the one on the back of the bag: water, sugar, a bag of berries, and you’re done. Boil the three together until the berries pop. The natural pectin in the berries thickens the sauce as it cools and an hour later, you have a gorgeous sauce that’s a balanced blend of sweet tart.
As good as that is, I know that it can be better…and it’s time for this condiment to shine. Bobby's sweet-savory, extra-flavorful cranberry sauce is so good, I eat it with a spoon. The relish also has a multidimensional texture, with a fragrant flavor base of red onion, ginger and Serrano chiles, and lots of sweet and fresh flavors (clementine juice, honey, cilantro) in the mix.
The cranberries are cooked in two separate stages: half are completely burst and saucy, and half are briefly cooked, so they retain their shape. Cooking the berries in two steps means that you get both the thick sauciness from the burst berries, but also a fresher, tart pop from the undercooked ones. The finished relish is definitely savory, but also sweetly balanced from the fruit, juice and honey, and an easy way to step up your Thanksgiving game!