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Cookin' With Coolio ()

Coolio Samples Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

Nov 19, 2010 (Morning Edition)

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What's missing from Gangsta's Paradise?  Cranberry relish, of course. So NPR's Susan Stamberg sent her mother-in-law's "sounds terrible, tastes terrific" recipe to Coolio, Grammy Award-winning rapper and author of Cookin' with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price.

"The color is a little weird, but it was actually quite good," Coolio says, after sampling the Pepto-Bismol-hued relish on a smoked turkey sandwich with mustard, mayo and melted cheese.

Chef Coolio believes in fusion cooking — on his online cooking show, he makes Mexitalian and Blasian (that's black plus Asian) culinary creations — so naturally he improvised a little on Mama Stamberg's recipe: with a dash of really spicy Thai hot sauce.

He suggests the new concoction be called "Mama Stamberg and Coolio's Wild Cranberry Pinkout" — and he even improvised a few verses in its honor:

You take some cranberry
A little bit of horseradish
And some onions.
Now I got a relish fetish.
Mama Stamberg
That's what you heard.
It's Coolio, not Stamberg
With some cranberries
And a little bit of onion, y'all.
And some horseradish.
Now I got a fetish
For that relish.
And it's Pinkout.
Better pull your drink out.

"I had to censor it," Coolio admits. "Happy holidays."

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

This relish has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It's also good on next-day turkey sandwiches and with roast beef.

Makes 1 1/2 pints


2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed

1 small onion

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is a bit milder than white")


Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," Stamberg says. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind, not a puree.")

Add everything else and mix.

Put in a plastic container and freeze.

Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some little icy slivers left.")

The relish will be thick, creamy and shocking pink. ("OK, Pepto-Bismol pink.")

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The Recipe's Origins

As Susan Stamberg has noted, her mother-in-law got the recipe from a 1959 New York Times clipping of Craig Claiborne's recipe for cranberry relish. In 1993, Claiborne told Stamberg: "Susan, I am simply delighted. We have gotten more mileage, you and I, out of that recipe than almost anything I've printed."

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