Monday, October 26, 2009

It's called stuffing for one reason....

There are many discussions on the internet as to whether it's called stuffing or dressing, but as I read through the histories and opinions of each author I formed a theory of my own. It's called stuffing because I can't help but stuff myself with it. Sure, I'll have a bite of turkey on my plate, some mashed potatoes and gravy, maybe even some veggies, but those are all just for show. If it wouldn't look strange, I'd just leave the bird frozen and serve up stuffing every year. I've never actually felt the desire to call it dressing either. I'm sure it's all in how we're raised, tomato/tomatoe, but even so, I can't recall one time when I've seen anyone lean back from the table, loosen their waistband and happily sigh, "Ah, I'm dressed!"
When I was young I loved the holidays at grandma and grandpa’s house. Grandma made the best stuffing ever! Until I found out what it was made of. I know a gizzard and a few kidneys shouldn't change my opinion of it but I've got a squeamish side. I wasn’t about to give up on my stuffing habit though, so I went on the search for a perfectly turkey-less turkey stuffing. After several years of acceptable, but similar, recipes I found one in the Christmas 1997 issue of the Taste of Home magazine. Over the years it has evolved into my version below, which has become a staple on our holiday table. Don’t be afraid of the rye bread. The 3 to 1 ratio of light to dark rye creates a balance that doesn’t overpower the dish, it’s just enough that friends and family recognize it as something extra special you've done with your stuffing. Feel free to substitute all light rye if the dark is too strong for your family’s tastes and any apple is fine, but I personally prefer the crunch and tartness of the granny smith. It has lots of flavor, lots of texture and is good stuffed or baked alongside the turkey. I hope you enjoy this as much as my friends and family do!

Rye Bread Stuffing
1 lb day-old light rye bread, cubed
1/2 lb day-old dark rye bread, cubed
1 lb Jimmy Dean brand sage flavored sausage
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 large granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped celery
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh minced Italian parsley (or dried parsley flakes)
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3-3 1/2 cups chicken broth

Instructions: Toss bread cubes in a large bowl. In a skillet, cook and crumble sausage just until cooked through. Remove to paper towels to drain. To same skillet, add onion, apples, celery, garlic and butter. Saute until apples and vegetables are tender. Add both the onion mixture and sausage to bread. Add nuts (if desired), seasonings and enough broth to moisten. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake; stuff turkey just before baking. Bake any additional stuffing separately in a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Or bake all stuffing separately in a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. To bake stuffing separately, place in greased dish, cover and bake at 325 degrees for one hour; uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.
Serves 10-12 (11 cups of stuffing)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes

1 comment:

  1. I love that you added apples and pecans; been wanting to do that for a while but some of my gang objects. Next time I might take the plunge and wait for reactions.


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TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License