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Kumquat and Cranberry Relish

November 16, 2009 | Condiments, Fruit

Ten days from now those of across the US will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. I’m always the cook – because I love it. But for some of you, I know this day brings with it a huge amount of stress. One way to destress while you impress is to make this fabulous cranberry relish. I promise you it couldn’t be simpler, and I guarantee your family and friends will swoon!
I created this recipe for a Foodie Fights competition online, and it’s intended to be made with kumquats, which unfortunately are just not quite in season here. A good substitute for that tart citrus taste is to use a bunch of orange rind along with a little of the orange itself.

Peel off the rind in segments with one of these zesters that makes long strips. You could use a Microplane as well, but I like the texture and appearance of the strips in the relish. Afterwards, segment the orange and roughly chop the segments, then squeeze any extra juice form the pulpy part that is left into a small saucepan. (If you’re using kumquats as the recipe calls for, all you need to do is quarter them or give them a rough chop and add them to the pan.)

These are the secret ingredients – well I guess not so secret anymore assuming anyone is reading this! One stick of cinnamon and one star anise.

Add the cranberries to the orange segments/juice/zest (or kumquats) along with the secret ingredients, sugar and a minced up chili pepper. I used half of a banana pepper today, but a single jalapeno is perfect.

Let it simmer down and pretty soon it will look like this – keep it simmering about 30-40 minutes in all to achieve a nice thick relish. If you want to enhance it, add a tablespoon of port at the end before serving. One taste and you’ll be wondering how you ever ate the stuff out of the can!

Kumquat and Cranberry Relish
Serves 6

1 cup kumquats, quartered
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon port wine, optional

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer until the cranberries and kumquats have broken down and relish has thickened, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon and star anise, add wine and let cool before serving.

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