NPR's Susan Stamberg has a booming laugh, a probing mind, and, of course, a cranberry relish recipe that's infamous in public radio land. But there's another dish that has graced her holiday table through the years — a dish that's been overshadowed by her mother-in-law's cranberry relish. It's Madhur Jaffrey's cranberry chutney.
Jaffrey is an actress who has become perhaps the world's best-known authority on Indian cooking, authoring more than 15 cookbooks.
Stamberg says Jaffrey came up with the recipe by pulling together the ingredients she had on hand: A can of cranberry sauce with berries, fresh ginger, chopped garlic, cider vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
"What you get is just this wonderful kind of sweet, sour and spicy thing," Stamberg says. "You know there are some Thanksgivings in which it just runs away. I mean it just takes over the table and I notice that most of it is gone."
The Pepto-Bismol pink cranberry relish that has become a Thanksgiving tradition on NPR's airwaves, Stamberg admits, doesn't always disappear so quickly.
You can find recipes for both Madhur Jaffrey's Cranberry Chutney and Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish below.
Madhur Jaffrey's Cranberry Chutney
1-inch piece fresh ginger
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1-pound can cranberry sauce with berries
1/2 teaspoon salt (or less)
ground black pepper
Cut ginger into paper-thin slices, stack them together and cut into really thin slivers.
Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar and cayenne in a small pot, and simmer on medium flame about 15 minutes or until there are about four tablespoons of liquid left.
Add can of cranberry sauce, salt and pepper. Mix and bring to a simmer. Simmer on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes.
Cool, store and refrigerate.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
1 small onion
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is a bit milder than white")
Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind — not a puree.")
Add everything else and mix.
Put in a plastic container and freeze.
Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some little icy slivers left.")
The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. Its also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.")
Makes 1 1/2 pints.