Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Herbs for the Holidays.-- Stuffing

We are still without our desktop, but the backup laptop is now virus-free and running like a racehorse so I hope it isn't too late to do this.

For a couple of weeks I have wanted to explore some holiday recipes that would allow us to highlight some of the herbs we are all so proud of having grown this year.

I know we all have our traditional family recipes handed down for multiple generations. Some foods are just such standards at our table that it feels disloyal to Grandma Wagstaff, or Great Aunt Golda to serve something else.

But sometimes it's fun to play. And sometimes, it's time to shake things up a little.

So over the next few days I want to highlight some different traditional holiday foods, and explore some new ideas.

So lets's kick it off with stuffings, OK?

Lemon & Herb Stuffing

3 C fresh bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
¾ cup of chopped fresh parsley
1 T fresh thyme
grated zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
¼ stick melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Use a fork to avoid the mixture becoming too compacted.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This stuffing is suitable to use to stuff the cavity of an 8 to 10 pound turkey.


While you can make most turkey stuffing recipes into vegetarian recipes, this one was created especially for vegetarians. As a bonus, this is one of the few turkey stuffing recipes made in the crockpot, freeing up oven space for other things. If you're looking for "turkey" stuffing recipes that veggie and non-veggies guests alike will swoon over (that is, as long as you don't actually stuff the turkey), you've found it.


Crockpot Vegetarian Stuffing

3 C coarsely chopped onion
3 C crimini or button mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
10 C stale bread, in small cubes or crumbled
1/4 C chopped fresh sage
1/3 C chopped fresh parsley
3/4 t salt
3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
1/4 C vegetable broth

In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms. Cook until tender.

Place onion/mushroom mixture in a large mixing bowl.
Add bread and mix well. Add herbs and spices.

Beat eggs in a small bowl and stir into bread mixture.

Place stuffing in a crockpot. Drizzle vegetable broth over the top. Cook, covered, on low heat for 4 hours.


Fresh Herb Stuffing with Turkey Sausage and Cranberries

1 16 oz loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz spicy or regular bulk turkey sausage
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 large stalks celery, very thinly sliced
1 large (10-ounce) red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
12 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (about 3 T)
3 C natural, fat-free chicken broth
1/3 C dried, sweetened cranberries
3 T unsalted butter
3/4 t fine sea salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange bread cubes evenly on two large baking pans. Brown in oven for about 25 minutes.
Brown sausage over medium high heat for 5 minutes, breaking into small pieces as it browns; place in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onion, garlic, and sage. Lightly brown, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer broth, cranberries, and butter for about 10 minutes.
Add celery mixture, bread cubes, and cranberry broth to sausage. Stir until broth is absorbed. Season with salt to taste.
Evenly spread stuffing in pan; cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes.

Walnut Herb & Apple Stuffing

1/3 cup butter
3 medium onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
12 cups cubed bread
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups California Walnut pieces
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh sage
1/2 cup fresh rosemary
1/2 cup fresh thyme
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

In non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and celery; cook 5 minutes or until soft.
In large bowl, mix bread, onion mixture, apples and walnuts. Add parsley, sage rosemary and thyme. Mix in enough chicken stock to moisten bread. Season with salt and pepper.
Loosely fill turkey cavity.

So there are a few ways to add a twist to your stuffing and use some of the herbs you grew this year.

Tune in next time, when we explore how to blend Cranberries and herbs...

1 comment:

  1. That walnut and apple stuffing sounds a lot like the stuffing my mom used to make. It's good with duck too. You're right we have to make the usual stuffing for Thanksgiving, but who says you can't try one of your recipes for other meals? Especially when you have lots of leftover bread to use up!