Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry Salsa

I discovered this dish at a Christmas party years ago and fell madly in love. The weirdest thing about it is that it has as its base three ingredients I very strongly dislike on their own: fresh cranberries, green onions, and jalapeño peppers. Somehow, combining these with three ingredients I really, really love (sugar, cilantro, and cream cheese) makes all the difference in the world. I guess during this particular season of binary opposition and political debate, the peaceful coming together of contrasting flavors to create a spectacular whole takes on an even greater significance, but you know what? Even without the metaphor, this salsa kicks butt. Trust me.

 

So here’s what you’ll need:

veggies to chop

 

2 packages of fresh cranberries

1 cup of sugar

1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of green onions

3-4 jalapeño peppers (seeded if you’re a weakling like me)

2 packages of cream cheese

1 box Club crackers

 

1. chop the cranberries (I did this by hand for a while until I got smart and started using the blender on Mince.)

 

2. mix the cranberries and sugar in a large bowl and let them sit while you chop up all the greens (This is called macerating and it’s what turns the cranberries from nasty, hard, and bitter to soft, sweet, and tasty–a little trick I wish we could use on certain people in the real world.)

 

3. finely chop all the greens (Again, if you’re not the hot and spicy type, you might want to wear gloves while seeding and chopping the peppers. Also, don’t position your eyes directly over the work surface as you slice the peppers. Those suckers squirt.)

 

4. mix the greens with the cranberries until it looks like one big, happily dysfunctional American family

 

5. place a slab of cream cheese on a tray and drape with the salsa, then serve with Club crackers and be ready to refill as necessary

 

Enjoy!

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