Editor's note: This is Regina's second post in a series about reinventing traditional Thanksgiving foods. To read the first post, click here. Or try her recipes for cranberry and fig confiture or easy cranberry-orange compote.
If I were going to compare food to fashion, I would have to say turkey at Thanksgiving is like Coco Chanel's little black dress. Just as the little black dress is essential to a well-balanced wardrobe, the turkey is essential to the Thanksgiving meal—a must-have. So, if turkey is the little black dress, cranberries are the classic pearls. But food also just like fashion in another way: You can reinvent it all you want, but if it is worth doing it has been done before. Knowing that, we continue trying to update and reinvent, and on a rare occasion it works and becomes fashionable, even if just for a season.
Last week when I started this three-week series of reinventing Thanksgiving—"Traditional Foods, Fresh Recipes"—I really thought it would be easy to come up with some new ideas. I felt good about my roasted squash and pecan popovers and loved the butternut squash with quinoa salad from Michael Symon in Food & Wine's new book. But when I began working with cranberries, it was a bit more of a task. As I mentioned last week, I have been looking through new cookbooks out for the holidays to recommend to you. Several of these books successfully combine cranberries with orange (Food & Wine's Reinventing the Classics, for example), as does Richard Bertinet's new technique book Cook (the combination of cranberries and clementine compote). I totally approve of those combinations.