Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Can You Do With Leftover Cranberry Jelly?

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My cousin, Lanae, asked this question of her Facebook friends today:  "What can you do with over half a can of left-over cranberry jelly?"

Another of her friends and I started bouncing ideas off each other like we were contestants on a Food Network show and this was our mystery ingredient.  I'd normally never buy this stuff, preferring Grandma Burton's fresh cranberry relish instead but we came up with such yummy sounding stuff, I might just change my mind and pick up a can or two on the next grocery shopping trip!

To get them into a place that's easier to find, here's a compilation:

  •  Mix it with cream cheese for a sandwich spread... would be good with turkey cold cuts and something green with a little peppery bite like water cress or arugula, I think.
  • Thin it down with some water, olive oil and red wine vinegar to marinate pork chops. Would give them a kind of tangy, BBQ-ish taste if grilled or fried.
  • Use it in a smoothie.
  • Use in thumb print cookies.
  • Mix with softened butter for a spread on toast or bagels.  (This will freeze for future use.)
  • Mix with mayonnaise, and maybe a little milk if it's too thick, to make a dip for chicken nuggets. Maybe a bit of a coarse ground spicy brown mustard in that mix, too.
  • Cut up polish sausage (or use meat balls - your own or from the grocer's freezer) and heat up with the jelly.
  • To make a great snack for kids, mix with dried cranberries and cream cheese to spread on celery.
  • Mix with mayonnaise and milk to get the right texture for salad dressing.  Flavor with sage, parsley, cracked black pepper and super fine chopped red onion.  Could also whisk in olive oil and red wine vinegar in place of the mayo if you don't want a creamy dressing.
  • Whip with  cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, a splash of almond extract to make frosting for a white cake. Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds, dried cranberries and shaved chocolate.
  • Put a pork roast, or butt, in the crockpot with jellied cranberries and a little bit of brown sugar.  Slice and serve as a roast (using the juices to glaze sauteed carrots) or shred for pulled pork sandwiches or Cafe Rio-like burritos.  Top the sandwich with a bit of creamy cole-slaw.  Use lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, grated cheese etc. inside the burrito.
  • Mix with dried cranberries and use as the filling for turnovers using either your own or an off-the-shelf pie crust.
  •  Mix with CoolWhip to dress a fruit salad or use as a dip with fruit pieces, graham crackers, pretzels, etc.
  • Use with a bit of juice concentrate (cranberry or apple or maybe white grape), some finely chopped pecans, vanilla wafter crumbs. Roll into balls then roll balls in shredded coconut for some festive no bake cookies.
  • Stir into apple jelly with some finely chopped jalapeno and then warm as a dip for coconut shrimp or crab rangoons.
  • Mix into applesauce and eat warm. Maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?
  • Wine and cranberry sauce served over fish.
  • Mix into applesauce then spread over parchment on a jelly roll pan to make fruit leather.
  • Pour over Brie with pecans and heat in oven.  Serve with fancy crackers.
  •  Flavor and color lemonade. Or limeade.  With, or without, vodka depending on your lifestyle choices.
  • Make dough for sweet rolls, cut into rounds and spread with the jelly.  Top with walnut pieces and bake.
  • Use as part of the crumb topping for a coffee cake.
  • Mix with maple syrup and heat.  Pour over pancakes. Maybe pancakes made with dried cranberry and almonds in them?  Or stuffed french toast with cream cheese and nuts inside?
  • Mix into melted butter and coat frozen dinner rolls. Put a pkg of vanilla cook pudding in the bottom of a bundt pan then the rolls and more melted butter. Turn out for pull aparts when baked.
  • Mix with dried cranberries and pistachios. Make chocolate cupcakes and when baked and cooled hollow out a space in the center for the cranberry mixture. Top with chocolate whipped cream.
  • Cook down in simple syrup to hard crack stage and pour out for stained glass style hard candy. Could add fruit and/or nuts for a brittle which would be yummy broken over hot fudge on ice cream. Or use it to make candied apples.
  • Add to the ingredients for homemade vanilla ice cream for something that's a pretty pink for Valentines Day! There's a version that you can make in a couple of ziplock bags if you don't have, or don't want to use, an ice cream freezer.
  • Mix with juice (cranberry, apple, white grape) and freeze for a sorbet.  Again, with or without added alcohol.
  • Meatloaf, swiss cheese and a slice of cranberry jelly on a grilled panini.
  • Put a few tablespoons and some chopped nuts into cooked oatmeal.
  • Add the jelly and some dried cranberries to your apple pie filling.  I think I'd skip the cinnamon... and do a crumb (like Dutch Apple Pie) topping instead of a top crust.
  • Mix with CoolWhip and freeze until it can be scooped out with an ice cream scoop. Use like ice cream in Cherry 7-Up for a fun float.
  • Stuff peppers with sausage, rice, half can of cranberry, dried cranberries, sage and goat cheese. Or use that mixture in cabbage leaves or grape leaves.  Use cranberry jelly and port wine to make the cooking sauce.
  • Fry hamburger. Then add the cranberry jelly and deglaze the pan with Dr. Pepper. Might need a bit of ketchup to adjust the acid, too. Use for sloppy joes with a bit of shredded sharp cheddar on top.
  • Mix the jelly, chopped apples, chopped bananas, nuts, broken vanilla cookies, and mini marshmallows into whipped cream or CoolWhip for a fruity cookie salad.
  • Make a salsa with fresh pineapple, mangos, sweet red onion, roasted red peppers. Mix the cranberry jelly with lime juice to season. Marinate chicken in the pineapple juice and then grill. Plate by spooning salsa over chicken and serve with rice.
  • Mix into brownie mix. You might be able to cut back on any eggs or oil it calls for... stir dried cranberries, your favorite nuts and chocolate chips into the batter before baking.
  • I also think you could use it interchangeably with the pie filling all those Pinterest posts show with Angel Food Cake mix. That would come out a pretty pink!
  • Cranberry cream cheese baked french toast... cut bread into strips and place in baking pan. Cut jelly into smallish pieces and scatter among the bread pieces. Same with cream cheese. Mix eggs and milk with a little maple syrup and pour over. Refrigerate overnight and bake at 350 for about an hour.
  • Make a syrup by mixing some of the cranberry jelly with water, sugar and corn starch. Cook until smooth and thickened slightly. Use with baked french toast or pancakes, grilled french toast, ice cream, cake, bread pudding, etc.
  •  Layer slices of the jelly with apple and/or orange slices (rind removed), cheese (brie, or maybe muenster or a really fresh mozzarella) and rosemary springs in a sweet pastry dough and bake like a rustic tart.
  • Thin a bit with some karo or simple syrup and marble into yellow cake.
  • Open slits in pieces of chicken breast and stuff with cream cheese, chopped spinach, dried cranberries. Wrap in bacon. Slightly thin the jelly by warming or adding a tiny bit of water and baste the bacon several times while broiling.
  •  Mix with heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff enough to be handled. Roll into small balls. Dip into melted milk chocolate for fancy candies.
  • Or... make it almost but not quite as thick and use for the pink layer in Neapolitan brownies. White chocolate fudge being the white layer.
  • Toss with pieces of baked sweet potato then sprinkle with a crumb or streudel topping before serving. Would also work with carrots or winter squash...
  • Mix into ground turkey with panko, lots of fresh herbs, finely chopped carrot, onion and celery. Maybe an egg to bind it together.  Form into a meatloaf and bake.
  • Fill a cupcake pan/liner about half full of cake or muffin batter. Cut out shapes from slices of the jelly and place one in the center of the cupcake then finish filling and bake. Either frost, use whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar on top of your jelly filled cupcake or muffin.
  • Make cherry or raspberry jello and let set. Cut into small cubes. Cut jelly into same size cubes. Carefully toss both with whipped cream or CoolWhip. Or... leave some of the jello cubes and layer into a tall glass for serving. Jello, jelly/jello/whipped cream mixture, whipped cream. Dress with chocolate shavings.
  • Thin to a pourable stage and use to flavor champagne, if you imbibe, or sparkling cider, if you don't. Garnish with a little paper umbrella. Thinking... a Cranberry Mimosa.
  • Cut into small pieces, toss with cooked and cooled country sausage, swiss cheese cubes, fresh herbs, mushroom stems and a bit of bread crumbs. Use to stuff mushroom caps. Broil until bubbly and slightly browned.
  •  Use your vegetable peeler to cut wide flat 'noodles' from a zucchini. Then using that same mixture, with or without the mushroom pieces, and maybe some chopped onion roll inside zucchini noodles. Hold together with a toothpick and bake.
Ok... this is kind of an exhaustive list.  If we come up with more I'll add a Part 2 tomorrow.

Edit:  We did come up with more!  You can view them here.

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