Events: Craisins launch with a fun cooking class at Top Chef Cooking Studio

Recently we were invited to the Craisins launch at Top Chef Cooking Studio, Al Wasl Road right opposite Town Center Jumeirah.

OceanSpray is the brand that created Craisins and are launching them in the Middle East market; OceanSpray produces almost 95% of the world’s cranberries. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because you can already find their cranberry juices in stores.

As part of the event we were treated to a cooking demonstration by Chef Chloe St-Cyr (winner: Taste of New Zealand) recipes below.

We tried a huge range of easy to make items with craisins ranging from chutneys, rice, fish to desserts like cookies and muffins.

We started off with some goats cheese and cranberry chutney. The chutney on its own was fantastic, we weren’t big fans of the goats cheese.

Ingredients:
4 Apples
5 Cups Cranberries
1 Red Onion
1/2 Cup Dates
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/3 Cup White Vinegar
Baguette Bread
Goat Cheese

Method:
Chop onion, apples and dates.
Sauté onion, apples, dates and cranberries with butter in a deep pot.
Add sugar, spices, vinegar and orange juice to pot.
Bring to boil then let it simmer until it reaches chutney consistency
Cut baguette bread into thin slices and sprinkle with olive oil.
Bake in the oven until dry, cut goat cheese into rounds.
Put goat cheese on cracker and broil in oven, garnish with chutney.

Roasted salmon with cranberry salsa: by far the simplest dish to make but tasted delicious, especially when eaten with the pilaf. It was so good that everyone was going back for seconds or thirds!

Ingredients:
1 cup cranberries
1 tbs lime juice
1/4 bunch of coriander
1/2 red onion
3 tbs olive oil
1 salmon filet

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C
Chop onion, cranberries and coriander, mix with olive oil and lemon juice.
Season salmon and seal on the pan, finish cooking salmon in the oven.
Garnish salmon with cranberry salsa.

Cranberry and almond rice pilaf; we felt it was more life an Afghani pilaf. Smooth basmati rice, boiled in flavorsome chicken stock (you can use water) and mixed in with roasted almonds and cranberries, does it sound tempting enough?

Ingredients:
1 tbs olive oil
3/4 onion
1/2 cup cranberries
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
In large pot sauté onions with olive oil until they become translucent.
Add cranberries and rice and stir until rice is covered in oil.
Add chicken broth and seasoning, bring to boil and cover.
Reduce heat to simmer and keep until rice is cooked (about 22 minutes).
Stir in almonds, garnish with cranberries.

Cranberry and Eggs “En Cocotte”, this was very filling and satisfying, in every bite you get a bit of everything: egg, cranberry, beef bacon.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 tbs cream
2 slices of beef bacon
1 tbs of cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C
Chop the bacon and cranberries.
In a pan cook bacon and cranberries together.
Strain bacon and cranberries and let it cool.
Whisk eggs, cream and seasoning.
Mix all ingredients together and put in an individual oven pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cranberry muffins, these oddly weren’t dense, instead they were light and would be great for an on the go breakfast.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg (large)
4 tbs butter
1 cup cranberries

Method:
Keep the butter at room temperature to soften, preheat oven to 180°C.
Mix butter and sugar, slowly add eggs until all items are properly bonded
Add all dry ingredients, add cranberries
In muffin tray decide mixture into 1/4 cup batches
Bake for 15 minutes

We got to try our hand at making cranberry and oatmeal cookies which was a really fun experience. Since I had a camera in one hand, guess who re-made my batch *hangs head in shame, yes it was mom*. These were fantastic; sweet, crunchy and had that homemade taste; haven’t had homemade cookies in a long time, mmm cookies.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup butter
2 cups instant oats
1 tsp baking soda

Method:
Keep the butter out at room temperature to soften it.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Sift the flour and baking soda.
Combine all ingredients together in large bowl and mix with hands.
Roll small balls with dough and place on baking tray with baking paper.
Press down the balls and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Overall we really liked Craisins, they taste good, go great with milk and um everything else XD. Available in 3 flavors: blueberry, pomegranate and original. Pick them up at your local supermarket and get on the cranberry bandwagon :D.

Disclaimer: we were invited to this event (alongside other media friends), but our opinions stated here are unbiased and honest. We really do like Craisins.

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