"Unsweetening" sweetened cranberries
I'm making a recipe out of Rozanne Gold's Radically Simple to go with tonight's dinner. It's basically braised red cabbage with fennel seed and dried cranberries. The recipe calls for unsweetened cranberries, but of the 200 varieties in the grocery store, not an unsweetened dried cranberry was to be found.
I thought about soaking my sweetened cranberries in some red wine vinegar for a bit to counteract the sugar and replace the tang.
Any thoughts or other ideas to compensate for the near-extinction of the unsweetened dried cranberry?
Christina, how did the dish turn out for you? I've read a little about this book lately and am curious about it. How do you like it so far? Just curious what you've cooked from the book and what your thoughts are about how simple the recipes really are, and, of course, how delicious.
re: The Dairy Queen
DQ, I made two recipes...the red cabbage and "charred" broccoli with chiles and garlic. I thought the cabbage was a bit sweet (and I don't think the cranberries were to blame). It was likely a result of the raspberry vinegar. It definitely punctuated the author's Hungarian heritage. I added some scallions for color and a bit of sharpness, but I just think that it wasn't for me. I'm better off sticking with sauteed cabbage with bacon and onions.
The broccoli was blanched, "charred" under a broiler, then tossed with fish sauce, lightly browned garlic and sliced chiles. I'm a sucker for fish sauce, so I liked it. The kids..eh.
I'm going to give some of her main courses a shot this week. What I like best about the book so far is that I haven't "seen" everything before. I feel like there are some interesting and creative ideas. Also, the author tries to balance time, creativity, and effort. If something takes 3 hours on the stove, it likely has a short ingredient list and doesn't take much to throw together. If the ingredient list is a page long, it cooks quickly and doesn't require many steps past the initial prep.
The jury's still out, but it definitely has potential.
re: Christina D
Simmering fresh cranberries in a balsamic vinegar and creating a savory relish is very popular this Thanksgiving. A recent version was posted here:
I served it with turkey broil to test it out and it was quite good. I'm thinking of swirling the leftover sauce into a plain cheesecake batter and see what happens.
"Unsweetening" can't be done. Once sugar is in solution it can't be removed. But you could increase the acidity (I wouldn't use vinegar) by adding lemon juice to taste and allowing them to marinate in that for a time before draining them to remove the liquid.
You don't mention whether the recipe calls for sugar or other sweetener. I'm assuming the unsweetened dried cranberries are there for their tartness.