The amphibious cranberry surfaces in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
Stewing the fruit with sugar and water produces the classic cranberry sauce. The cranberry is a native American plant, and the sauce, although it is known in Europe, is not entirely understood there. Here is what France's Larousse Gastronomique has to say on the subject: "Cranberry jelly is traditionally used as a condiment with game and fowl such as duck and goose." But everybody knows that cranberry's rightful place is at the side of a roast turkey, as it probably was in the days when Native Americans taught the Pilgrim Fathers how to sauce wild turkey without traditional English fruits.
Once known only at Thanksgiving (and possibly Christmas), cranberry sauce is now to be had throughout the year. Fresh cranberries have a shorter season, although efficient cold storage or freezing has lengthened the period of availability. Use whole raw cranberries to make Dan Philpot's elaborate, but ambrosial, sauce.
Cranberry Sauce 2 packages (12 oz. each, or 6 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries About 1-1/2 cups water 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 cups bite-size pieces fresh pineapple (about 1/3 of a 3- to 4- lb. fruit) 2 large Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and diced 1 tablespoon vanilla 1/4 cup brandy
Rince cranberries and place in a 3- to 4- quart pan. Add 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook just until cranberries begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture into a strainer placed over a bowl; when drained set berries aside. Return 1-1/2 cups of the juice to pan (add water if needed, or discard any extra juice); stir in sugar and cornstarch. Add orange juice concentrate and lemon juice. Stirring, bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cranberries, pineapple, apples, vanilla, brandy, and the orange juice mixture and stir until well combined. Let cool, then ladle into jars, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or as long as 1 week. Makes about 8 cups. "Neither fish nor flesh nor good red herring" is a phrase sometimes used to describe the unclassifiable. Walter Soh, probably the most prolific and inventive of the Chefs of the West, sends us from Hawaii a recipe that is (to bring the phrase up to date) neither Japanese sashimi nor Mexican seviche nor good red Italian carpaccio.
Like all of these, Chef Soh's contribution is essentially raw animal protecin heightened in flavor by various condiments. As with carpaccio, its basic ingredient is raw beef. As with seviche, the flesh is modified by a sort of heatless cooking in which a marinade "poaches" or coagulates the protein through the action of an acid. Because it comes from Hawaii, where sashimi--raw fish--is a familiar item of diet, Mr. Soh calls it Fishless Sashimi. Purists who cannot imagine sashimi without fish can call it Carpaccio Giapponese.
Actually, it is closer in spirit to carpaccio--paper-thin raw beef slices variously garnished--than to any of the other dishes. Mr. Soh appreciates the tenderness of raw or rare beef but dislikes the color; he finds that his marinade keeps the beef tender and renders the color more tempting.
Fishless Sashimi 1 pound lean beef tenderloin, all fat trimmed off 3 tablespoons oyster sauce 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1/4 cup finely chopped onion Chopped parsley
Cut beef into very thin slices, then cut slices into bite-size pieces. Place meat in a bowl and stir in oyster sauce, lemon juice, cayenne, and onion. Cover and refrigerate until the meat has lost all its bright red color, about 45 minutes.
Arrange meat slices flat and overlapping on a serving plate; sprinkle with chopped parsley. Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings.
Hayford Peirce loves the contrasting flavors of sweet and sour pork and, as a San Francisco resident, he has ample opportunity to sample the many versions to be found there. He spends much of the year in Tahiti, where the heat and humidity make the batter, deep-frying, and occasionally cloying sauces inappropriate. He has invented a cold version in which a pork loin is cooked in a sweet and sour bath, then removed, chilled, sliced, and arranged in an aspic made of the cooking liquid and gelatin.
Flavorful and cooling, as well as attractive, this Sweet and Sour Pork en Gelee is a splendid buffet dish or entree. Peirce suggests that the dish be decorated with fruit, such as canned, drained lichees or thin slices of fresh pineapple, and a small spray of green leaves--perhaps mint.
Sweet and Sour Pork en Gelee 2/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar 2 cups regular-strength chicken broth 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 thin slices fresh ginger, each about 1 inch wide 1 tablespoon dry sherry 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 tablespoon catsup 1 small dried hot red chili 1 medium-size green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 boned pork loin roast (2 to 2-1/2 lb.) 2 large egg whites Water 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine sugar, vinegar, broth, soy sauce, ginger, sherry, garlic, catsup, chili, and bell pepper. Cook on high heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pork; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the center of the pork reaches 155[deg.] to 160[deg.] on a thermometer and is no longer pink (cut to test), about 1 hour.
Lift out meat and set aside. Pour cooking liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl; discard seasonings. Cover and refrigerate liquid. Trim and discard all fat from pork, then cover and refrigerate meat until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Discard fat from cooking liquid; pour liquid into a 3- to 4-quart pan. Whisk in egg whites. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly for 10 minutes; return heat to high and liquid to a rolling boil. Set aside. Let liquid stand until cool and cloudy mixture begins to separate from clear liquid, about 45 minutes.
Set a colander in a large bowl; line colander with 4 layers of moistened cheesecloth. Carefully ladle in liquid with egg whites; lift ends of cloth and bring together, squeezing gently to extract as much clear liquid as possible. You should have 1-3/4 cups; add water, if needed. Rinse pan; return liquid to it.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water. When gelatin is moistened, stir into pan with liquid. Place over medium heat until gelatin melts, stirring often. Place pan in a bowl of ice water; stir until slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, cut the pork across the grain into 1-4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices, overlapping and as flat as possible, on a large platter (such as a 14- by 18-in. oval). Evenly spoon the slightly thickened gelatin mixture over the meat. Chill until set. Cover, without touching gelatin; chill until gelatin is set, at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. Makes l to 8 servings.
Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two great gourmandizing holidays, may leave you with more leftover chicken or turkey than your imagination can deal with. To the rescue comes David Sexton with a recipe for Chicken Chilaquiles, an unmistakably Mexican-inspired casserole with a distinctive green sauce of tomatillos and green chilies for zest, tortilla chips for added body, and cheese for richness.
Chicken Chilaquiles 1 dozen corn tortillas (6 to 7 in.) 4 cups cooked, boned, and skinned chicken, torn into bite-size pieces Tomatillo sauce (recipe follows) 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup whipping cream 4 cups (1 lb.) firmly packed shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
Stack 4 or 6 tortillas at a time, and cut stack into 1-8- to 1/4-inch wide strips.
Evenly pat half the chicken into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spread with half the tomatillo sauce. Stir together sour cream and whipping cream; spread half the mixture over the tomatillo sauce. Evenly top sauce with half the tortilla strips and half the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, using remaining chicken, tomatillo sauce, sour cream mixture, and tortillas, ending with cheddar cheese.
Cover and bake in a 350[deg.] oven for 40 minutes. Uncover, evenly sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, and continue to bake until cheese is bubbly and casserole is hot through, 5 to 10 minutes more.
Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes, then arrange avocado slices on top of casserole. To serve, cut into squares. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Tomatillo Sauce. In a blender or food processor, combine 1 can (13 oz.) tomatillos and their liquid; 1 large onion, cut into chunks; 1 clove garlic; and 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies. Whirl until smooth.
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|Date:||Nov 1, 1986|
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