3 delights

Written by Jan Craddock

I love homemade cranberry sauce. It is the perfect mixture of sweet and tart to add that little pop to a large holiday meal. I have been making my own for about the last 10 years, using a basic recipe and adding different items depending on what’s available in my pantry or garden. I also make a lot of cranberry sauce as I like to give it out as a pre-holiday gift to friends and neighbors to enjoy at their holiday dinner. This recipe makes about 4 pints. For more, just double or triple the recipe.

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

32918799_l1 bag fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped orange slices
1/2 cup port wine

Place the ingredients in a large pot and cook slowly over low heat until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens (20 to 30) minutes. Let the mixture cool down and then place in clean jars and refrigerate. Decorate jars with a festive a label and a pretty ribbon for a beautiful seasonal gift from your kitchen.

Parmesan Asiago Grits with Shrimp & Andouille

The original version of this dish came to New Orleans by way of the Low Country in South Carolina. In this recipe, traditional grits are updated with a blend of Asiago and Parmesan cheeses. In our house, this incredibly rich dish is a once-a-year holiday treat.

1 1/2 pounds medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, diced
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Fresh chives for garnish

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp and sausage mixture from skillet.

Add cream, broth, and wine to skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cheese and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Stir in shrimp and sausage mixture.

Serve over Parmesan Asiago Grits and garnish.

Creamy Parmesan Asiago Grits

2 cans chicken broth (14oz each)
3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
4oz container chive-and-onion cream cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmasean
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Add cheeses and pepper, stirring until melted.