Make Guests Say "Yay" with this Versatile Holiday Mainstay
by Lindsay Gifford
Information, Recipes and Photos provided by Ocean Spray
Christmas is almost here. Before you know it, you’ll be gathered around the table saying grace over heapings of mashed potatoes and gravy, delicious casseroles, and slices of turkey. But what holiday plate would be complete without a side of delectably sweet and tart cranberry sauce? It doesn’t matter if it’s made from scratch and sweetened to taste, or shaken straight out of the can—Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without it. This tasty side inspired us to see what else you could do with cranberries, and it turns out you can make everything from drinks to salsa to desserts. Who else would we go to for the season’s best cranberry recipes other than Ocean Spray?
Ocean Spray, a name synonymous with cranberries, has been around for 85 years. What began with three farmers, who formed the Ocean Spray Cooperative, is amazingly still a co-op, now made up of more than 700 families, comprised of multi-generations of farmers in the United States, Canada and Chile. Ocean Spray is the world’s leading producer of more than 1,000 great-tasting, good-for-you cranberry products in over 100 countries worldwide.
In addition to hundreds of recipes, Ocean Spray’s website, www.oceanspray.com, offers an incredible array of tips and suggestions every great host will love, including party planning, kids’ kitchen tips, kids’ table menus, table decor, menu planning, holiday checklists, maximizing kitchen space, a serving calculator and much more! They touch on both contemporary and traditional feasts, and for the accidental singed turkey, a holiday helpline!
A few tips for this holiday season include:
1) Plan an interesting menu: Start early and choose foods and recipes that compliment one another with color, texture and flavor, and add variety by serving both hot and cold dishes.
2) Realize it’s OK not to make everything from scratch: Don’t do all the cooking. Order a pre-cooked turkey from your local grocer or restaurant, or grab a dessert from the bakery.
3) But if you do like to make everything from scratch, start early. If you do the cooking yourself, plan to do as much as possible ahead of time. Scan your menu to see what reheats well. It will save you a lot of time, stovetop real estate and stress.
Enjoy the holidays, and every day, with the crave-licious cranberry recipes that follow:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf, about 16 servings
2 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
11/2 tsps Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking soda
3/4 cup Orange juice
1 Tbsp Orange peel, grated
2 Tbsps Shortening
1 Egg, well beaten
11/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen
Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 40 mins
Yield: About 3 cups
2 cups Cornbread stuffing
1/2 lb. Sausage meat, cooked, drained and crumbled
3/4 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original
1/3 cup Pecans, chopped
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 cup Chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients, except chicken broth, in a medium casserole dish. Add chicken broth; mix well. Add more chicken broth for a moister stuffing. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Ultimate Baked Brie
Yield: 16 to 20 Appetizers
1 (14 oz.) can Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 (12 oz.) bottle Heinz® Chili Sauce
1/3 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2 (7 to 8-inch) Wheels Brie cheese
1/3 cup Toasted sliced almonds, optional
Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, and dried cranberries in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until smooth. Using warm, sharp knife, cut 1 wheel of cheese in half horizontally. Place bottom half on ovensafe serving plate. Spread 1/3 cup cranberry sauce mixture on cheese on plate. Top with remaining half of cheese, pressing lightly. Repeat with remaining wheel of cheese and 1/3 cup cranberry sauce mixture. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is softened. Spoon remaining cranberry sauce mixture over cheese. Sprinkle with almonds, if using. Serve warm with crackers or bread.
1 oz. Orange liqueur
4 tsps Fresh lemon juice
1 (8.4 oz.) can Ocean Spray® Sparkling Juice Drink,
any flavor, chilled
1 small Strawberry, halved, garnish
Divide liqueur and lemon juice equally between 2 champagne flutes. Fill glasses with Sparkling Juice Drink. Garnish with strawberry, if desired.
Makes 2 servings.
Cranberry Gin Fizz
2 oz. Gin
2 Tbsps Fresh lemon juice
1 (8.4 oz.) can Ocean Spray® Sparkling Juice Drink, any flavor, chilled
Combine gin and lemon juice in a tall glass
filled with ice. Pour in Sparkling Juice Drink.
Makes 1 serving.
1 (64 oz.) bottle Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 cup Orange juice
2 cups Lemon-lime soda or club soda
Orange and lime slices or ice ring, garnish
Combine cranberry juice cocktail and orange juice in a large punch bowl. Gently stir in soda just before serving. Garnish with orange and lime slices.
Makes about 15 (6-oz.) servings.
3 oz. Ocean Spray® Cranberry
Juice Cocktail, chilled
3 oz. Ocean Spray® 100%
1½ oz. Vodka
Pour all ingredients
into a tall glass
Makes 1 serving.
1½ cups Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry Juice Blend
1½ cups Dry red wine
¾ tsp Lemon peel
¾ tsp Orange peel, grated
6 whole Cardamom
2 (3-inch) Cinnamon sticks
6 ounces Lemon-flavored Vodka, optional
¼ cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries
2 Tbsps Slivered almonds
Combine all ingredients except vodka, dried cranberries and almonds in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Strain punch to remove spices. Stir in vodka, if desired.Place 1 Tbsp dried cranberries and 1½ tsps almonds in bottom of each punch glass or mug. Pour mulled wine over mixture.
Makes 4 servings.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies
⅔ cup Brown sugar
2 Large eggs
1½ cups Old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
⅔ cup Butter or margarine, softened
1 (6-oz.) pkg Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
⅔ cup White or semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and chocolate chunks. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Cranberry Bacon Brunch Scones
with Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese
Yield: 10 servings
1 (8 oz.) pkg Cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsps Honey
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/3 cup Pecans, finely chopped
3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Baking powder
3/4 cup Buttermilk
2 Green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cold unsalted butter
3 Large eggs
5 oz. Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (6 oz.) pkg Ocean Spray® Craisins® Cherry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Ocean Spray® Cran•Cherry® Cherry Cranberry Juice Drink
6 slices Thick-cut bacon, crisply cooked and chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
Filling: Combine dried cranberries and juice drink in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute or until hot. Stir together cream cheese and honey in medium bowl until smooth; fold in pecans. With slotted spoon, remove 1/3 cup plumped dried cranberries and fold into cream cheese mixture. Cover; refrigerate until serving.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 1 large or 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Using vegetable grater, grate butter into flour mixture. Stir with fork until butter is well coated. Add Cheddar; stir to coat. Stir in bacon and onions.
Combine eggs and buttermilk in medium bowl. Stir in remaining plumped dried cranberries and all juices. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Scoop 10 large mounds of batter 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake on center rack for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and centers are done. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Split scones; serve with cranberry-pecan cream cheese. (If cream cheese mixture is too firm, soften slightly in microwave.)
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Cran-Cherry Sauce
and Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Yield: 6 Servings
4 slices Hickory smoked bacon, sliced across in 1/2” pieces
6 oz. Button mushrooms, sliced
1 small Yellow onion, cut into thin rings and sliced into quarters
1 large clove Garlic, minced
1 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Cherry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries
¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
6 medium-sized Organic boneless and skinless chicken breasts
½ tsp Fresh thyme
12 oz. Red wine, divided 1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsps Montreal steak seasoning
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 Tbsps Bleu cheese crumbles
3 Tbsps Oil
1 Tbsp Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Cherry preserves
In a medium size frying pan over medium high heat, saute the bacon until it starts to brown and the fat starts to render. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are brown around the edges and the mushrooms are slightly wilted, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute before adding 1/2 cup of the wine and the salt. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until ready to use. Place the remaining cup of wine into a small bowl with the craisins. Cover and allow to soak until ready to use. Lay chicken breasts in a single layer on a clean surface. In a small cup combine the steak seasoning and garlic. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the breasts, gently pressing spices into the meat, before turning over and sprinkling the remainder on the other side.
Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and heat. When oil is hot add chicken breasts. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn (chicken breasts and spices should be a rich brown and juices should run clear when done). Remove pan from the heat and transfer breasts to a plate. Cover tightly with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes. While breasts are resting, return frying pan to the heat. Stir pan with a spoon to loosen any bits that are still in the pan. Pour in the wine and the soaked Craisins. Allow the mixture to heat up to a boil, stirring frequently, allow it to reduce by about 1/3 its original volume. Whisk in the cherry preserves, reduce heat to low. Place equal amounts of the mushroom mixture on 6 warm plates. Top with a chicken breast and then a generous amount of the crancherry sauce poured over the top. Sprinkle with the bleu cheese crumbles and parsley. Serve immediately.
Cranberried Monte Cristo Strata
Yield: 6 Servings
1 Tbsp Spicy brown mustard
1 cup Cooked turkey (¼ lb.), chopped
1 cup Cooked ham (¼ lb.), chopped
11/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
8 large Eggs
3 cups Milk
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup Powdered sugar
1 Baguette (day old works fine)
1 (14 oz.) can Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Using serrated knife, cut baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Toast both sides until crisp and golden brown around edges. Mix 1/2 cup cranberry sauce and the mustard in small bowl. Spread over 1 side toasted baguette slices. Arrange half of slices, cranberry side up, in bottom of dish, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle evenly with turkey, ham and cheese. Top with remaining toast, cranberry side down. Combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper and pepper sauce in large bowl; whisk until well blended and slightly frothy. Pour egg mixture carefully into baking dish, making sure bread is soaked with liquid. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover baking dish. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until puffed and top is slightly golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blend remaining cranberry sauce and the vinegar in small bowl. Just before serving, sift powdered sugar over strata. Top each serving with dollop of cranberry mixture.
Tex Mex Cranberry Salsa
Prep Time: 5 mins | Yield: About 21/2 cups
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1 (12 oz.) package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
2 Tbsps Canned jalapeno peppers, chopped
¼ cup Fresh cilantro
¼ tsp Ground cumin
1 Green onion, white and green parts, sliced
1 tsp Lime juice
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add cranberries; return to a boil. Gently boil cranberries for 10 minutes without stirring. Pour into a medium glass mixing bowl. Gently stir in remaining ingredients. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on salsa. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate. Best if served at room temperature.
Cranberry Mustard Dipping Sauce
Prep Time: 5 mins | Yield: 2 cups
1 (14 oz.) can Ocean Spray® Jellied
5 Tbsps grainy Dijon mustard
3½ Tbsps brown sugar
Combine ingredients in a small mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. Serve hot or at room temperature as a dip with chicken, ham, pork or shrimp.
Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins
Yield: 2¼ cups
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
1 (12 oz.) pkg Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.