Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cranberry Molded Salad

Prized for warding off scurvy and other diseases, cranberries were once referred to as “red gold.” About 150 years ago, they were worth more than salmon. Autumn is the time the great cranberry bogs flush crimson as fields are flooded for the harvest. Today, we can enjoy these nutritious, delicious berries year-round. Juiced, dried, frozen, and canned, their “fresh” taste is abundant in any season! Cranberries are a naturally tart complement to turkey. Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season offer several opportunities to serve them, Dollinks!
Cranberry Molded Salad:

1 pkg. (4 serving size) cranberry-flavored Jell-O gelatin    
1 c. boiling water     
3 tbsp. lemon juice
½ c. sugar
2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries   
1 c. chopped celery
½ c. chopped, toasted walnuts (see Note)
Pour Jell-O and boiling water into a bowl, stirring until powder dissolves. Immediately add lemon juice and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Chill until jelly begins to set slightly; time will depend on container in which jelly is mixed. Coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor. Stir into jelly. Dice celery, stirring into jelly with toasted walnuts. Pour mixture into oil-sprayed decorative mold and refrigerate (I used five ½ c. molds)When completely set, invert mold/s over serving plate, warming edges of mold with a hot towel until mold releases jelly. Serves 5 in small individual molds, and 8 in a single, medium-sized mold. This salad adds a new twist to an old standard. It is outstanding.
Note: See How to Toast Nuts in Index.

Pour boiling water over cranberry-flavored gelatin

Prepare to blender-chop cranberries

Seek a coarse chop, with a few whole berries remaining

Toasting walnuts enhances their flavor
Add chopped cranberries, celery, and nuts to jelling mix

Oil and fill decorative molds 
Proceed until all molds are filled
This makes a fabulous first course! The photo is
slightly tipped toward my eagerly open mouth!

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