Although they’re not often found in Middle Eastern cuisine, the cranberry can be incorporated into traditional Middle Eastern dishes and included in your Thanksgiving menu. Their unique flavor lends a little something extra in keeping with the flavors of the holiday. They are also one of those foods, like the sweet potato, that because of their color add something special to your Thanksgiving table.
Canned or Fresh?If you decide to use cranberries in some form in your Thanksgiving meal, you basically have three options - fresh, dried, or canned. Canned cranberry sauce is obviously the easiest and least expensive way of go. It can be found in either whole berry or sliced forms and there is really no sacrifice in flavor if using canned over fresh or dried. Simply open a can, and you’re ready to serve. Dried cranberries, which usually have sugar added to them to, are most often added to dishes rather than cooking with them. They provide amazing color to anything they’re added to, but the addition of sugar will give them a more sweet flavor and lessen the tartness associated with the cranberry.
Fresh cranberries are the way to go if you’re looking for a truly homemade way to serve them. Although not as easy as opening a can (if you’re serving traditional cranberry sauce), there is personal satisfaction to be found in making your own, and it looks great presented alongside the rest of your foods on your holiday table.
Buying and Storing CranberriesCranberries - fresh, dried, or canned - should be easily found in your local grocery store this time of year. The canned and dried versions can be easily stored in your home and have a long shelf life so there is no risk to losing flavor or spoilage if not used within a short period of time. Fresh cranberries, on the other hand, will spoil if not properly used or stored. If purchased ahead of time, cranberries can be kept in your refrigerator for up to two weeks, or kept frozen for up to a year in an airtight container. It is important to remember that if you decide to freeze or use frozen cranberries do not let them thaw before cooking with them. Simply rinse them with cold water and they are ready to be used in your dish as the recipe calls for them.
Cranberry RecipesNow that you’ve decided to include cranberries in your Thanksgiving feast, you need to decide how to serve them. There are some delicious ways to incorporate them into traditional Middle Eastern foods if you’re looking for the flavor without simply serving cranberry sauce.
Cranberry Hummus: Cranberry hummus is extremely easy to make using either canned, or fresh cranberries.
Cranberry and Toasted Almond Couscous: This recipe is a great way to use dried cranberries. Their color and flavor add a unique quality to this traditional Middle Eastern dish.
- Cranberry Pomegranate Relish: This dish lends the perfect touch and taste to your holiday table.