What is it with this dish? It's really weird, but super delicious. Borderline addictive. Smoked turkey atop noodles over a bed of lettuce. It doesn't sound that good. But the strong flavors are refreshingly unique, and surprisingly cohesive.
(Highbush) cranberry-apple butter
My, how I love highbush cranberries. They have that earthy, skunky smell that is so quintessentially fall. I've made killer syrup and liqueur from wild Yukon cranberry. Yum. This time, I didn't have the wild variety in store, so I used fresh domestic cranberries. The result was still good, but my mouth waters thinking about how much richer the flavor would be with wild highbush.
Interestingly, the Fiddlehead debunks a longstanding belief about highbush cranberries which is that you wait until after a frost to harvest them. On the contrary, FH recommends picking them before they freeze and mush/rot.
This butter is a concentrated, smooth, spiced fruit spread. The recipe makes a large quantity using a pound of dried apple and four cups of cranberry. The yield is about four pint jars of the tasty condiment.
Start by soaking apples in water for an hour:
Mix in the cranberries and heat, then add spices:
Strain out seeds and skins through a sieve. Save the pulp and measure it to know how much sugar to add (you'll need 3/4 the quantity of sugar as pulp):
The butter is so smooth. Take a look at the pan on the left pictured below:
Pour it into canning jars:
Seal the jars according to directions. A pressure cooker would be easier, and my pot wasn't quite big enough:
Smoked turkey pasta salad
Luckily, Jerry's Meats sells delicious smoked turkey in reasonable quantity:
Tear the turkey in pieces:
Chop tomato and green onion; shred carrot:
Prepare a batch of Fiddlehead vinaigrette and toss into cooked fettuccine noodles (I used this sprouted whole grain--read hippie food--noodle that was hearty and great). Next toss in your chopped vegetables:
Plate your meal by setting the dressed noodles on a bed of lettuce. Top with turkey and dollop with the cranberry-apple butter. (Note: plating was inspired by an episode of 'Chopped.')
Serve & enjoy! The richness of the smoked turkey pairs well with the sharpness of the vinaigrette and fruit butter. This is a creative way to eat up holiday leftovers, but is delectable anytime of year.