If there is one fruit that says “holidays,” it's the cranberry, but the tangy crimson berries are also a wonderful addition to fall and winter meals.
Native to New England and grown in marshes or bogs (Wisconsin produces more than half the world’s supply), cranberries tend to get pigeonholed as a turkey accompaniment, but with fresh berries readily available, this is a great time of year to use them more often.
Here are a few tips:
• To tone down the acid, add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda when cooking cranberries. You'll find you will need less sugar.
• A 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries yields about 3 cups whole berries or 21/2 cups chopped. Cranberries can be easily chopped by pulsing in a food processor.
• Fresh berries can be refrigerated in their original packaging for up to two weeks or frozen for up to a year.
• To prep, rinse and discard any brownish or soft berries (white berries are actually the sweetest); if frozen, there's no need to thaw before use.
I adapted the recipe here from chef Scott Baker of L'ecole de la Maison at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Begin the meal with a pureed soup such as cauliflower and accompany the salmon with a seasonal green vegetable and brown rice or couscous.
Carole Kotkin is manager of the Ocean Reef Club cooking school and co-author of “Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere.”