The News Blog Food Blog

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stuffing and dressing

Ok, so everybody laughs at the redbox, but those suckers fly out of the stores every holiday. People load up on them and doctor them up.

Not everyone does, of course. People use fresh bread, premade mixes, a whole variety of things.

I've used both from time to time. Because I just don't care about the origins of my stuffing

You are free to disagree


At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Chiaroscuro said...

I've tried a few fancy homemade stuffings with things like sausage or chestnuts, dried cranberries, etc. I must admit, they never tasted good enough to justify the time or expense. Pepperidge Farm bagged stuffing is fine with my family.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger julie beth said...

my grandmother's cornbread stuffing, the recipe for which simply must be disseminated:

10-12 slices of a-couple-of-days-old whole wheat bread. here in texas, it's Mrs. Baird's split-top whole wheat bread.

1 pan of cornbread - jiffymix will do just fine.

3-4 c. hot water

2 eggs

1 onion, chopped

3-4 celery sticks, including leaves, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

at LEAST 2-3 Tbs sage

1 tsp salt

as much pepper as you prefer

1 stick of butter, melted


wash your hands. in a huge bowl, tear up loaf of whole wheat bread, and crumble cornbread into it. add the hot water slowly and mix well, until the right consistency is reached (thicker than thick oatmeal, but leave no bread too dry). from here on out, it's more fun if you use your bare hands, but you can mix with a spoon, too...

add the eggs, the onion (which i'll generally sautee first in a bit of butter, but if you like your onions crunchier, just add it raw), garlic, spices, mix well.

use the butter to grease a big ol' casserole dish, spread the mixture into the dish, and pour the rest of the butter over it, mixing it in a bit.

bake until done (usually about an hour, for me) in a 450-degree oven, stirring 4-5 times while cooking.


At 6:34 PM, Anonymous myrtle june said...

:-) OK, I'm going to try to post a link to the other dressing/stuffing comments so's we don't have to searching come shopping time. Hope this helps. :-)

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Sapphic Graphics said...

My lovely Colombian G/F feels that no meal is complete without rice, so I promised I would secure a good rice stuffing recipe for inside the bird. Anyone? Anyone?

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crossposted under rice

Mochi rice stuffing (Chinese/other)

At 1:30 PM, Blogger brotheryam said...

Being a Minnesotan, we are blessed with the ability to get Wild Rice fairly cheaply. And I mean the real thing -- not the shiny black, tasteless farm-raised and machine harvested stuff either. The rice (actually a grass seed) is gray and quite a bit bigger than the typical store bought stuff and it has a nutty sweetness that makes it irresistable. I use this instead of bread for my dressing (I never stuff since the need to get the stuffing hot dries out the turkey). You can skip the bacon for a vegetarian friendly version.

Wild rice dressing (my creation)

1/2 lb. thick cut bacon (get the good stuff. If you are buying bacon in a shrink-wrapped package, quit it. You need to see both sides to see that there is indeed meat. Otherwise, you're just paying for fat...)
3-4 carrots, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 leeks (depends on size), chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 lb. wild rice
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
4-5 cups chicken stock and/or white wine (or combination)

Rinse the wild rice and place in a large pot. Cover with stock/wine and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until liquid is gone (don't burn it, it smells terrible). Fry bacon and use about 3 tbsps of bacon grease to saute leeks, carrots, celery and mushrooms. When soft, add chopped bacon and sauteed veggies to the rice. I covered the mess in grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and bake at 350 for an hour.

Improvements I have in mind would be to use good wild mushrooms, add
butter and cream before baking and thicken it up that way. Lots of things to do.

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still use my traditional family stuffing recipe, which would probably more properly be called dressing, since I don't stuff the bird with it, having the salmonella paranoia as I do. I live in the UK, and have been spreading the good word of American-style bread stuffing amongst the people who eat truly horrible sausage stuffings. I use Thanksgiving as my main conversion holiday, because if there's anything my British friends/in-laws/acquaintances love, it's a huge free meal on what seems to be a random Thursday in late November.

Anyway, the recipe:

Lots of stale bread, of any variety. I bake my own, so I stash ends and uneaten stuff that's going stale in the freezer for a couple of weeks before hand. This does it no harm at all. Usually I have a mix of white, whole wheat/multi-grain and rye bread. Quite a lot of it. So figure about a good-sized commercial loaf's worth.

Two large yellow onions, five or six ribs of celery, diced fairly small, and whatever herbs you like, to taste. I use sage and thyme, usually.

Chicken or turkey stock, figure about a pint, just to be safe, although you may end up using less. I tend to have homemade stock in my freezer, but I can't see why a GOOD stock cube or store-bought stock wouldn't be just fine. I just make stock because I'm a cheap-ass, and I won't throw away bones before I make them into stock. When I lived in the US, and had no freezer space, I used College Inn canned broth, and it was fine.

Chop the stale bread up into little squares. Sautee the onion and celery in butter in a large skillet, until it's gone as soft as you like. (I hate crunchy celery and onions; you may differ.) When the vegetables are cooked, throw in the bread, and mix it all around. Start adding the stock, a few ounces at a time, until everything is well-moistened. Season with your chosen herbs and plenty of freshly-ground black pepper. You probably won't need much, if any, salt, due to the saltiness of the stock, but hey, whatever. Thanksgiving is not the day for healthy eating. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a well-buttered baking dish, and bake in the oven alongside your turkey, until it's nice and crunchy on the top.

The best part comes the next day, when I put leftover turkey in a greased baking dish, cover it with gravy, and top it with leftover stuffing and bake it until it's all bubbly and browned. Sort of like a post-Thanksgiving version of Shepherd's Pie.


At 10:22 PM, Blogger LizDexic said...

Yes, I disagree. REad the ingredients.
Hydrogenated oils and more chemicals than you can shake a stick at.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger NanafromMA said...

A variation to -beth's stuffing..
It sounds just like my mother's and I have been making it for almost 45 years and everyone loves beth's recipe, you can add a large or 2 small cans of deviled ham and a small can of chopped water chestnuts.
The ham gives a nice but not heavy flavor and the chestnuts a little crunch... I won't be cooking the bird this year as my son is trying it...and he will also be making the dressing..I have no idea what his plans are, so I guess we will have to be surprised...hope it is edible!

Everyone have a great day from the land of the original holiday!!

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