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Good Bread Stuffing
Monday, October 01, 2007
This is a completely original recipe. My favorite part of Thanksgiving has always been the stuffing (or dressing, in some places). I've been making stuffing out of the bag or box for years as a quick side dish with chicken or pork. Sometimes I make a variation of Shepherd's Pie by topping chicken with gravy with stuffing and baking it. I've added a zillion things to my stuffings: sausage, prosciutto, bacon, ham. But this recipe is the epitome of my stuffing experiments. I decided that I wasn't going to use anything bagged or boxed (I was doing a pretty fresh dinner here), so I would buy good crusty bread from the market and use that. I made a huge quantity, so feel free to half the recipe, or even quarter it. Remember, I was feeding 12 people. I also took a little of the stuffing before adding the meat to it and added veggie sausage for my vegetarian guest. He both appreciated the gesture and enjoyed the stuffing.

*2 baguettes, cut into cubes
*2 medium onions, chopped
*4 cloves of garlic, chopped
*2 bunches of cutting celery, chopped
4 cups of vegetable stock
*1 pound of kielbasa
Goya Adobo
Ground sage
Ground thyme
Ground black pepper

1. Sprinkle sage and thyme on the baguette cubes, then toast in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.
2. In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Brown the onions, then add in the celery and garlic. Sprinkle a little sage, thyme, black pepper and Adobo on them, then let them cook a little.
3. Pour in the vegetable stock. Let this simmer for a little while (maybe 10 minutes, can go as long as 20 when you forget about it while cooking a thousand other things).
4. Put the toasted baguette cubes in a large bowl (large is very important here). Spoon out the vegetables from the stock into the bowl, then gradually add stock until your bread cubes are softened, but not soggy, stirring to make sure those cubes at the bottom of the bowl are getting adequate treatment. If you have leftover stock, don't worry about it. Let it cool, put it in a container, refrigerate and you'll have something to add to soup later. You might want to add a tablespoon or two of butter at this stage.
5. Cube the kielbasa and grill it up for a few minutes, until brown. Keep it going if you want really crispy stuff. Add the kielbasa to the stuffing.
6. Stir it all together and put in a large baking dish. Pop it into a 350 degree over for 10-15 minutes, making sure not to dry it out. Serve warm.

*Local ingredient

I didn't add gravy to this, but you certainly could. I wish I had! But a lot of guests topped theirs with my Butternut Squash Soup and really liked that.
posted by Rose @ 5:42 AM  
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