Not to be a total bossypants, but you need to stop whatever you're doing and make some cranberry salsa. I know that you're busy prepping for Thanksgiving, but between planning the turkey, the stuffing, the side dishes and the pies, you may have forgotten the salsa. Yes. The salsa. It's a Thanksgiving necessity. You didn't know? Just trust me on this one.
Here's the thing--If your family is anything like mine, they plan to eat a whole lot at your Thanksgiving feast. In fact, they plan to eat so much, that they probably skipped lunch (and most likely breakfast too) in preparation. This means that your family is hungry when they arrive. And if your family is anything like mine, your Thanksgiving feast probably won't start on time. Because despite your best intentions, you have to wait for Uncle Steve, who's running late, you have to wait for your dad, who wants to watch the last few minutes of the big game, and you have to wait for the rewarming of the mashed potatoes, which grew cold on their journey across town from Auntie Laurel's house. This means that your family was hungry when they arrived, and they're even hungrier now that dinnertime has come and gone and there's still no turkey in sight.
You don't need me to tell you that this doesn't lead anywhere good. It leads to cranky brothers, who whine when they're not fed regularly. It leads to sneaky cousins, who pilfer pecans from the top of the pie. It leads to tipsy sisters, who really shouldn't drink champagne on an empty stomach. The solution? Salsa. Cranberry salsa to be exact. Bursting with fall flavor, this salsa is festive enough to set the mood, but not so filling that your guests will ruin their appetites for the main event. Sweet and tangy with a kick of heat from the jalapenos, it's the perfect snack for both holiday and game day. So now you know. Salsa. It's not Thanksgiving without it.
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Adapted from Saveur
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed and roughly chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
zest and juice of 1 lime
zest and juice of 1/2 orange
Combine half the cranberries with the jalapeno, sugar, lime juice and zest and orange juice and zest in a food processor or blender (I used a Vitamix) and pulse several times until finely chopped. Add the rest of the cranberries, and pulse a few more times to combine, leaving some larger pieces of cranberry. Let the salsa sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so that the flavors can meld. Season to taste with kosher salt.