While shopping yesterday I picked up a bag of fresh cranberries.  It seems a bit late in the season for cranberries to still be so plentiful.  I don’t know if I just haven’t been paying attention or I’m noticing them more because everything else is looking so bad.  Weather in Florida and California is really wreaking havoc on produce right now – and I’m sure prices are going to be reflecting it soon.

But I digress…

I picked up cranberries with the thought of making a cranberry sauce for some chicken breasts and leftovers for ham sandwiches.  Love hose versatile sauces!

Cranberry sauce really is the easiest thing in the world to make.  Really.  I had sparkling cranberry juice and dried cranberries in the house so I made a really simple triple cranberry sauce.

Triple Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup sparkling cranberry juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries

Mix cranberry juice and sugar in medium saucepan.  Heat and stir until sugar dissolves.  Add both cranberries and cook until cranberries pop and sauce begins to thicken a bit – about 10 minutes.

Cool and chill.

As I said – easy.

The chicken was a simple boneless, skinless breast that I sauteed in a bit of butter and then finished off in the oven.  The only thing I did was add salt and pepper.  No other seasonings.  I didn’t want anything to compete with the cranberry sauce tonight.

Green and yellow Italian beans – salt, pepper, butter – and plain white rice finished the plate.  The simple rice also worked well capturing the runaway cranberry sauce.

It was one of those meals with really simple flavors but also one where every flavor was noticed.  I like moving back and forth between using every spice in the cabinet and showing restraint.  I mean…  restraint is not a word that is often associated with me.  It’s fun to step outside of the box now and again.

I’m also thinking that the sauce can be reworked into a dipping sauce for some hors d’oeuvre or another on Sunday.  We have a biannual dinner with dear friends and while the main dish (a lobster pasta) and dessert (a big ol’ cheesecake) are already planned, the hors d’oeuvres are not chiseled in stone.  But as I sit here, I think a mini-fritter of sorts with a spicy cranberry dipping sauce may be fun.  I really love that deep fryer!

I made the cheesecake when I got home today because it really needs to set for a few days.  Not an easy thing to allow to happen, but it’s for a special occasion.  We’ll deal with it.

And I need to figure out what to do with the veal chops for  our New Year’s Eve dinner tomorrow night.

The stress.