Monday, November 10, 2008

Cranberry Relish with Grapefruit and Mint. Also, Recovery!

The top 10 best things about being terribly, terribly ill:

1) Post-Sickness Sexy Voice. I sound like Kathleen Turner.

2) Clogging of ears blocks out low conversation, but also construction work going on next door.

3) DayQuil tastes like candy.

4) Beating Lego Indiana Jones on The Boyfriend’s Xbox. When you’re sick, this is about the biggest, best thing you can possibly accomplish. (Note: With the exception of not dying.)

5) Tea, 23/7. (The other hour is soup.)

6) Sympathy calls from Ma. I am a fully-functioning 31-year-old professional, and for the life of me, I will never stop craving those “Oh, my poor baby’s so sick” conversations. When she’s 107 and I’m 82, you can bet your ass I’ll be dialing her the second my arthritis acts up.

7) Not showering, or even changing out of my pajamas, and being totally okay with it.

8) Once you recover, coworkers offer a combination of “I’m so glad you’re feeling better,” and “Please don’t touch me. I have children to think about.” It's making me mad with power.

9) Catching up on Days of Our Lives for the first time since 1987. Stefan has been 60-years-old (and evil!) for two decades now. It’s a talent.

10) The first post-affliction meal. You know – the one you can actually taste.

That last point, coincidentally, brings us to today’s recipe: Cranberry Relish with Grapefruit and Mint. I found it on Epicurious after learning that both cranberries and grapefruits would be on sale at Key Food this week. (Score!) I figured it would be a nice change-up to canned cranberry sauce, a staple at our family Thanksgivings. I was right. (God, I love being right.)

This is good stuff, but perhaps not for everyone. Why? Well, in a word, it's TART. That's to be expected with cranberry sauce, but with the added grapefruit ... to be honest, I wasn’t even sure I liked it at first. Five bites later, I wanted more. So there you go.

And here you go.

It’s good to be back.

Cranberry Relish with Grapefruit and Mint
Makes about 2-2/3 cups (or 8 1/3 cup servings)
Adapted from Epicurious/Bon Appetit.

2 large pink grapefruits
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups cranberries (about 10 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1) With a peeler, slice off the peel off the grapefruits in big strips. (Make sure you get the peel only, and not the pith.) Chop those strips down further, into pieces that are 2-inches long and 1/8-inch wide (very, very thin). Believe it or not, you should have about a 1/2 cup of peel when you're finished.

2) Squeeze peeled grapefruits until you get about 1 cup of juice.

3) In a medium saucepan, mix sugar and 1 cup water over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add grapefruit peel. Jack up the heat. Once it starts boiling, drop the heat to medium-low and cook/simmer for about 15 minutes, until the peel is soft and lovely. 

4) Add grapefruit juice and all cranberries. Jack up the heat again. Once it starts boiling, drop the heat again and simmer about 10 minutes. When the berries burst, you know you're just about done. Pour everything into a medium serving bowl. Add mint. Stir. Stick in fridge until cold.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
131 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.50

2 large pink grapefruits: 164 calories, 0.5 g fat, $1.00
1 cup sugar: 774 calories, 0 g fat, $0.32
2 1/2 cups cranberries (about 10 ounces): 109 calories, 0.3 g fat, $2.08
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint: 2 calories, 0 g fat, $0.60
TOTAL: 1049 calories, 0.8 g fat, $4.00
PER SERVING (TOTAL/8): 131 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.50


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