Friday, November 19, 2010

Herbs for the Holidays -- Stuffing

I will be joining Designs by Gollum with this post for Foodie Friday Please stop by and visit that blog for more great recipes than you could possibly make in just one afternoon.

OK, I'm cheating a bit.

Most of this information has already been posted once on my blog, but since most of my readers weren't with me last year, I thought I could get away with a recycling some of that information.

Don't forget to enter my Giveaway for a $35 CSN Stores Gift Card.You can read all about it and enter here

I want to explore some holiday recipes that will 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? Stuffings seem almost a no brainer. Most people can't think of stuffing without thinging of sage, and vice versa. But sage is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to herbs for stuffings. My first recipe doesn't even have any sage in it.

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.

Do you have a favorite stuffing recipe that shows off your herbs? I'd love to hear about it.

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

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1 comment:

  1. I had to take a peek at your stuffing recipes! I think we would like the Walnut Stuffing the most.

    Just wanted to tell you that a few years ago I watched Tyler Florence cook a turkey. He made a sage butter that he put between the skin of the turkey. I had to try that and it was the best turkey I've ever had! I use it for chicken too! All you do is cut up some sage and mix it in with your softened butter. It's really easy. Putting it inbetween the the skin gives the turkey meat the flavor and not the skin.

    Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner!