"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Jellied Cranberry Sauce is one of those recipes that asks you to push cooked solids through a fine mesh sieve--in this case, four bags of boiled cranberries. After about the fifth scoop of cranberry mashing, I was asking myself why the canned stuff was really so bad, and I'm still not sure I can give you the answer to that. I love chunky homemade cranberry sauce, especially with stuff like orange zest or dried cherries added in, but this recipe is meant to replicate that Jell-O look and mouth-feel. It's just straight, slightly sweetened, very thick cranberry juice that has added gelatin and is set in a mold.

Anyway, I pressed on (no pun intended), mixed in my gelatin, poured it in a ring mold (with some left over in a bowl) and let it sit overnight. Oh, by the way--this was the day before Christmas, to be served with the Christmas feast for twenty-two people at work.

Here's the exciting part.

Now, when you unmold cranberry sauce, you dip the mold in hot water for five seconds and then turn it over onto a plate. Easy, right? Epicurious certainly makes it look easy--here's a picture by Sang An of Jellied Cranberry Sauce that doesn't resemble mine in the slightest.

Mine didn't look like that because I dipped it in hot water (really hot water) and when I unmolded it, the melted jellied cranberry sauce puddled all over the plate around the now much diminished and undignified looking remnants of the ring mold.

Clearly this unmolding business is a learned skill.

Plan B: scoop it all up and put it in a pretty bowl. Tastes the same, takes up less space anyway.

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