Friday, November 25, 2011

My Thanksgiving Stuffing

I only make it once a year, and I make it from scratch. Well, mostly from scratch. This year I did use one little "trick" as you'll see.

I start with fresh bread. No stuffing in a bag that says "just add water." I use sourdough, french, and seeded rye.



Slice everything into big, fat chunks and pile it up onto baking sheets. Ignore the pizza tray - at present I can only locate one of our cookie sheets. At one time we had three. The kids probably took them outside to build a rocket ship or something...but that's another blog post.



Then I spray the top liberally with cooking spray (cheap option - better would be drizzling with olive oil) and several pats of butter. Give a good liberal sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground peppercorns.


Place in a 250 degree oven. It will take almost an hour for everything to toast just right. You'll need to turn once or twice throughout baking time so you get the moisture out of every bread chunk. You can also reapply butter and/or oil when you turn the pieces.

Meanwhile, start chopping your veggies. I like big chunks of carrots, onion and celery.


Saute in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and a good "knob" of butter as Jamie Oliver would say! Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute over medium-high heat.


Cook until veggies are soft, then add 2-3 teaspoons of minced garlic. This is one of my new favorite finds. Of COURSE fresh garlic is better, but this is a time saver and definitely convenient!


Turn off the heat once you add the garlic, and remove from the burner after you've turned everything a few times - you don't want your garlic to burn!

By this time, you've probably turned your bread pieces a couple of times, and there's far less steam coming from the oven as the moisture is released. Pull out those toasted, buttery bread chunks and chop up your fresh herbs. Rosemary, thyme and sage.


Dump your bread chunks into a large roasting pan, and start piling up your sauteed veggies on top.


Then, I add dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. This year I did add one packaged item I found unopened in my pantry. These salad topping combos are really yummy additions for recipes like this, and especially granola and cookies.


I also added regular dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.


Mix it all up,


and toss in those fresh herbs!


Then cover with two cartons of reduced sodium chicken broth.


Mix well so all pieces get wet, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, crank up the oven to 350, and bake uncovered. Stuffing will cook for about an hour, or until everything is moist, but not soggy, and a little crispy on top. You will need to go in and turn everything 3-4 times to make sure you don't have mush in the bottom of the pan and croutons on top!

The worst part about this post is I don't have a picture of the finished product! How horrible am I?! As soon as I pulled it out of the oven it was time for us to get out of the house and over to my Momma's for Thanksgiving Dinner. Before I sat down to start typing I thought I might be able to get a decent pic of leftovers, but apparently my wonderful and delightful husband polished those off in a midnight snack last night! Grrrr...

I'll tell you this though, the color of bread and veggies will be significantly darker than the above pictures. Think about toasted bread - with the oil, butter, herbs, broth and heat you'll end up with a walnutty color by the end of cooking time, and there is no gravy needed for this stuffing!

Enjoy!

Love and Honey,
Missy

2 comments:

barefoot mama said...

oh wow! looks delicious! ~ Barefoot Mama

Missy Rose said...

thanks, barefoot mama! it was pretty darn good!

 

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