Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and Stuffing

Well, here's the situation with Thanksgiving: my family is in chaos right now. We are dealing with a lot of family emergencies all at one time, so it ended up just being me and my mom. We ate in front of the TV and watched Arrested Development. That was not so bad. As a result of the chaos, though, we only made a few things. All the standards that are the true definition of Comfort Food in my household. Except pie. I didn't make pie. I know, shock, right? And since it was just two of us and I don't eat meat, we nixed the turkey. So this is what we had:

*My mom's cheeseball
*Lipton soup onion dip
*Mashed potatoes
*Green Bean Casserole
*Roasted Brussels Sprouts
*Rolls from Trader Joe's


We also had stuffing. And I've decided I might as well share that recipe here now. My mom has made this super-simple stuffing my entire life, and she got the recipe from her mom. The closest I've found is this Betty Crocker recipe. The night before Thanksgiving, my mom tears up the bread (standard white bread from the store), chops up the onion (Vidalia) and celery, pours on the pepper and sage (no thyme), and mixes it up in this huge tupperware container that is at least 10 years older than me. She doesn't cook the onion or celery, just tosses them in. Then she melts 2 sticks of butter and pours that over everything, stirring it in. And then she covers it up and leaves it overnight so all the flavors mush together. She used to put it all into the turkey, but then I stopped eating turkey so she'd make a smaller pan of stuffing just for me, and then she just started making a huge pan of stuffing for everyone. So, since it doesn't get moisture from The Bird, she pours vegetable stock over it before baking so it doesn't get all dried out. And thus our perfect herb stuffing comes to fruition. Here is the Betty Crocker recipe that I found that is close to it.

The other secret with this stuffing is the Morning After Thanksgiving amazing breakfast: smush the stuffing into a little patty, pan-fry it in a little bit of butter or olive oil, and top with a fried egg. Oh my gosh. Heaven.

Bread Stuffing
Betty Crocker

3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
9 cups soft bread cubes (15 slices)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove Dutch oven from the heat.

2. Gently toss celery mixture and remaining ingredients, using spoon, until bread cubes are evenly coated.

3. Use to stuff one 10- to 12-pound turkey. Or to bake stuffing separately, grease 3-quart casserole or rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Place stuffing in casserole or baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

Yield: 10 servings

1 comment:

jhl said...

our stuffing is like that, too. Funny the things we eat when they're tradition, isn't it? :)

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving ... hoping that the family crises end soon.