So many cranberry sauces call for sugar. Candy the berries. Mix them with cup upon cup of granulated, white sugar. I've never been one to shy away from sweets, but too much sugar is a good way to push the cranberry off of the center stage. So my cranberry plan for Turkey Day is multi-fold, but it does, of course, include a sauce. I won't, however, touch a single grain of sugar.
Would I eat plain, stewed cranberries? Most definitely. Will my family? Well, a festive holiday of overeating and football might not be the best time to find out. So my plan is to temper the cranberries with caramelized onion. If cranberries are my favorite food—and I'll go out on a limb and say that cranberries are my favorite food—caramelized onions are not far down the list. I love sweet, slow-cooked onions for several reasons. The transformation from a vegetable that makes you cry to one that is almost as sweet as candy. The patience the onions take to caramelize. If you don't have two hours, you're not doing it right. The sensuous smell that fills the kitchen as the onions slowly melt out their sugars as the onion's edge recedes.
I can taste it already. The onions and berries are the basis for my cranberry mac and cheese (deride, deride, but it is heavenly). However, my scheduled day to cook is not until Wednesday, at which time I'll caramelize onions and cook them with cranberries until the sauce is tangy and edgy but not going to bowl anyone over.