Arguably, the holiday season would not be the same without cranberry sauce. I sometimes balk—in a weak attempt to avoid the whole idea. No matter, eventually I buckle and make a fresh batch anyway. I can’t help myself.
Cranberries are a big crop in Oregon. With gobs of bogs scattered along our coastline there’s no excuse not to have plenty on hand.
If you’ve got the berries and time is your problem, here’s a simple cranberry sauce for you. Combine the berries, sugar, a little liquid, and pop it all in the microwave. In five minutes a luxe sauce will materialize with little effort on your behalf. If you wish, add a little grated ginger or orange zest.
Enjoy it with toast or on hot cereal in the morning. Dress it up with a splash of vinegar, onion or garlic, a teaspoon of ras-el-hanoutor other red pepper spice blend and you’ve got handcrafted chutney (for more ideas see chutney). It’s a festive homemade gift that’s ready when you are.
Five Minute Cranberry Sauce
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
⅔ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water, orange juice, or brewed Orange Spice Tea
1 tsp orange zest or grated ginger (optional)
In 4-cup microwaveable glass measure or similar bowl, place cranberries, sugar, liquid and optional flavoring.
Cover loosely, cook in the microwave for 5 minutes using the following sequence, taking care not to boil over: bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then stir. Cover, cook 1 minute and stir again. Cover, cook for 30 seconds and stir, repeat for another 30 seconds.
Berries will pop, release their liquid and thicken into a sauce. If not, repeat for 30 seconds. Pour into storage container and refrigerate. Yield: 1½ cups.
When my daughter Shannon recently sent her favorite recipe for Five Minute Keto Pizza I was off and running. She has long been a keto fan, and a terrific source of the latest information.
Ketogenics is not new; it was developed nearly 100 years ago at the Mayo Clinic as a treatment for epilepsy. It has gained a huge following by those interested in weight loss or other heath issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, and more. The keto diet focuses on the restriction of carb-rich foods, forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates, resulting in a metabolic state of ketosis.
Turns out the pizza crust is made with eggs for protein, psyllium husk for fiber, and Parmesan cheese. The blended mixture thickens to form a bread-like base when cooked in an oil lined skillet for a couple of minutes. Rao’s Tomato Sauce and mozzarella cheese are spread on and quickly broiled. Its fast!
No doubt this is a good recipe for those seriously interested in adhering to the keto program as ingredients and quantities are set out to meet specific criteria. On the hunt for psyllium husk, I found a small vaguely marked bag in the back of a cupboard. I wasn’t sure if it was a powder form or whole, and this matters when it comes to the gut and intestinal processes. I set it aside for later.
I turned my attention to the sauce; as a recipe developer this looked like a good challenge. Unlike other fruit, tomatoes are considered keto-friendly, thanks to their low sugar net carb status. Who knows what Rao had in mind, but I could surely make a homemade tomato sauce that stays within keto boundaries—and acceptable to me.
I zeroed in on Bagna Cauda, the incredible “hot bath” from Italy’s Piedmont region traditionally made with copious amounts of olive oil plus butter. It’s simmered with loads of garlic and anchovies and served as a hot dip, fondue-style. I would begin there. For a win/win, I’d cut back on the oil and butter and substitute a heritage tomato such as a San Marzano or Oregon Spring.
There are so few ingredients in this sauce, each one is important. It needs a fruity, full flavored extra virgin olive oil, at least 1 clove garlic per serving, and red pepper flakes for a hit of heat. The anchovies give a mysterious umami boost, any fishiness fades to the background, and it’s not too salty. The tomatoes should be thin-skinned, meaty, low in acid, with few seeds. If using a canned San Marzano, look for one with no sugar added.
As the bagna cauda base and tomatoes simmer away, they break down together and develop into a richly rounded sauce. Serve with chicken, fish, pasta, or pizza.
Tomato-Bagna Cauda Sauce
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, mash and mince
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 anchovy fillets, dice
4-6 large heirloom tomatoes such as San Marzano, chop
salt and pepper
1-2 Tbsp fresh basil, torn
Heat a wide pot over medium-low, cook olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies. Slowly cook; mashing the anchovies until melted, smooth, and aromatic, 5-10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, partially cover set to a low simmer an additional 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil. Makes 2 cups or more.
Five Minute Keto Pizza
Source: Ruled.me Ingredients
2 large Eggs
2 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
1 tbsp. Psyllium Husk Powder
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
Salt to Taste
2 tsp. Frying Oil (I use bacon fat)
1.5 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
3 tbsp. Rao’s Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Basil
In a bowl or container, use an immersion blender to mix together all pizza crust ingredients.
Heat frying oil in a pan until hot, then spoon the mixture into the pan. Spread out into a cirlce.
Once edges are browned, flip and cook for 30-60 seconds on the other side. Turn the stove off, and turn the broiler on.
Add tomato sauce and cheese, then broil for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.