Cranberries are usually served as cranberry sauce to accompany the holiday turkey. This year, I'm serving cranberries at my Thanksgiving meal before the turkey, as a delicious Sherried Cranberry Pecan Spread.
The recipe is a simplified version of curried cheese with cranberry chutney, one of my favorite recipes from Second Round, Tea-Time at the Masters .
I wanted the flavor of the original without the fuss and came up with this abbreviated version. Dried cranberries are softened in sherry and added to the curried cheese spread along with some toasted pecans.
The spread can be made a day ahead. You can substitute blue cheese or goat cheese for the shredded sharp white cheddar. Let the spread come to room temperature before serving with whole wheat crackers or bagel chips.
Reach Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHERRIED CRANBERRY PECAN SPREAD
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons sherry
1/2 cup chopped pecans
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 green onion, chopped, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Big Wheat Thins or bagel chips, for serving
Combine the cranberries and sherry in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, or until hot. Remove from the microwave, stir and set aside to cool. Place the pecans on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir again and taste. If pecans are not fully toasted, microwave for 30 seconds more. Set aside to cool. Stir the cream cheese and cheddar cheese together in a medium bowl. Stir in the cranberries, pecans, curry powder, salt, green onions and parsley. Mix well. Spread mixture in a decorative bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let spread come to room temperature before serving with Big Wheat Thins or bagel chips.
Makes 6 servings.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Big Fat Caramel Rolls are a quick, decadent holiday treat.