Original article can be found on STLmag.com
Red, glistening cranberries add a zing to holiday parties few fruits can match, but this beautiful berry often disappears after Thanksgiving. We think that’s a shame. When Chef Chuck Friedhoff of Butler’s Pantry (1414 Park Avenue, 314-664-7680, butlerspantry.com) reached out to us to share two recipes perfect for winter celebrations, we couldn’t have been happier.
Friedhoff’s creativity shines with the gluten-free Cranberry Almond Crackers he “cooks” in a dehydrator. Crisp, crunchy and flavorful, these ruby crackers topped with goat cheese, chopped pistachios and citrus taste as good as they look.
He also created a clever two-fer recipe busy hosts will appreciate. When you mix up the Nantucket Rum Runner cocktail recipe, you get a bonus, Slightly Tipsy Cranberry Chutney.
Here’s the best part. Friedhoff created all three recipes with clean eating in mind. While there’s no hard and fast definition of eating clean, think real, whole foods, heavily plant based, minimally processed foods that are freshly prepared. “If you can’t pronounce something on the label of ingredients, that’s a giveaway it’s not clean eating,” Friedhoff says.
Cranberry Almond Crackers
By Chuck Friedhoff, chef de cuisine at Butler’s Pantry
Yield: 50 crackers
These beautiful gluten-free cranberry almond crackers topped with goat cheese, ground pistachios, and blood orange segments are perfect for holiday parties. You won’t need your oven for these simple beauties as they ‘bake’ in a dehydrator.
2 cups raw almonds (see note)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup organic cranberry juice
1 cup ground cold-processed flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns
1/2 cup herbed chevre (goat cheese)
2 tablespoons ground pistachios
1 orange, peeled and segmented (see notes)
1 cup micro-arugula (see notes)
1. Soak almonds in water overnight. Drain, rinse and place almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to roughly chop.
2. Add cranberries, cranberry juice and flax seed to the roughly chopped almonds. Pulse to mix, and then blend mixture to a medium coarse consistency. Remove dough from processor and shape into a smooth oval. Flatten lightly.
3. Place dough in the center of a 16-inch by 22-inch of parchment paper. Cover dough with a second sheet of parchment and roll out to a rectangle approximately 12-inches by 17-inches and1/8-inch thick. It’s very important that the crackers be rolled out to 1/8-inch thickness.
4. Cut dough sheet if needed in squares or rectangles to fit your dehydrator trays. The parchment should remain covering the top and bottom of the dough at this point.
5. Set the dehydrator to 120 degrees and dry for 2 hours.
6. Remove dough from dehydrator and take off the top sheet of parchment. Score firmly into 1 1/2-inch squares. Don’t replace the top sheet of parchment. Return sheets to dehydrator for 12 hours. The setting should remain at 120 degrees
7. Break crackers apart and store in a sealed bag.
Serve with herbed goat cheese, citrus segments, pistachios and micro-arugula.
• Raw almonds are available at Whole Foods Markets and at Trader Joe’s
• Blood oranges or seedless tangerines may substitute for oranges.
• If micro-arugula is not available, cut regular arugula in a fine chiffonade for garnish.
Nantucket Rum Runner, a Holiday Cocktail, and a bonus – Slightly Tipsy Cranberry Chutney
By Chuck Friedhoff, chef de cuisine at Butler’s Pantry
Yield: Just over 3 quarts of holiday cheer and 5 cups of cranberry chutney
Chuck Friedhoff often dragoons his out-of-town holiday guests to help make Nantucket Rum Runner. They seem to enjoy both the cocktail and the jewel-like cranberry chutney that works well with ham or turkey.
3 cups raw sugar (see notes)
1 cup sorghum (see notes)
8 cups organic cranberry juice
2 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 oranges, peeled, seeded and juiced (see notes)
2 cups dark rum (see notes)
1 cup light rum (see notes)
Juice of 5 limes
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup coarse sanding sugar (see note)
2 fresh limes cut into thin wedges
Two days prior to serving:
Combine sugar, sorghum, cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon sticks and orange juice mixture in a 5-quart pan. Stir to blend and cook over medium-high until the berries begin to pop. Remove from heat and cool completely. Store covered in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning:
Strain the liquid into a large mixing bowl.
Reserve the cranberries and solids in a separate bowl. Remove cinnamon sticks. Cover and refrigerate. This will be your holiday chutney.
Add both rums, lime and lemon juices to the strained liquid, cover and refrigerate overnight.
On the holiday:
Place 1/2 cup coarse sanding sugar in a small shallow bowl. Dip the rim of glass in water to a depth of 1/8-inch and then dip in sugar. Allow the glass to stand a minute or two for the sugar to set. Pour cocktails.
Serve the reserved cranberry chutney with the holiday meal.
• Raw sugar is sold under the brand name ‘Sugar in the Raw.’ Turbinado and demarra are forms of raw sugar. Sucanat and Rapidura are brand names made from raw sugar as well.
• Do not substitute molasses for sorghum. Sorghum has a much softer finish and is usually available at better grocery stores.
• Dark rum is sometimes called black rum. Don’t use spiced rum, which is a darker color with added spices. Meyer’s light and dark rum both work well in this recipe.
Photos: Reprinted with permission; Sara Ketterer, Butler’s Pantry, photographer