Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Prep: My Stuffing 2011

When you look at the list of ingredients, you might think you're going to gag.  But, I was surprised at actually how good my "revised" stuffing recipe worked out this year!

The original recipe was in the November issue of the Sunflower Markets free magazine.  I had to adapt it because it called for mushrooms.  I am not a mushroom fan.  So, I tried subbing butternut squash for the shrooms, and I think it will work.

Dicing the veggies was time intensive, especially because I pretty much quadrupled the original recipe to accommodate using what I had on hand, and because we have almost 20 people coming to our house for dinner tomorrow.  But my Sous Chef Phil was a lot of help.

I used a whole loaf of Ezekiel 4:9 bread (turns out it was about 10-11 cups when it was diced).  Half a butternut squash.  Two onions.  About 10 celery stalks.  And about 3/4 bag of carrot chips (little wavy sliced carrots from the produce section that are really great hummus dippers when not being used as a component of stuffing).  Also half a small bag of baby spinach, chopped fine so that someone here in the house who won't eat spinach won't recognize it.  It kind of looks like parsley in the stuffing.

I poured in about 4-5 cups of turkey broth from cooking the giblets... maybe a little more, as I ended up flavoring the last part of the broth with some Penzey's chicken soup base to give the stuffing a little more depth of flavor.

The hardest part of the recipe was adjusting the spices for the quantity that I made.  It called for fresh thyme and fresh sage.  I used dried.  But that wasn't enough to give the stuffing any kind of distinctive flavor.  I ended up adding some Penzey's Country French Dressing mix, too.  But, really, you could almost use whatever spices you want - Italian with some basil sounded pretty good to me, but somehow not what people might expect for Thanksgiving.  Now that I think of it, probably if the recipe had called for butter or margarine, that might have given it a little more body.  But, I kind of like that it is extremely low fat (just a bit of olive oil for sauteing the veggies), full of good veggies.  And no mushrooms.  Healthy, I think.

So, sometime in the future I'll make the stuffing again with a different flavoring - and in a much smaller quantity!  I found a recipe on the Penzey's website for a stuffing that called for smoked paprika.  That sounds kind of intriguing to me - and I do already have smoked paprika on the shelf.

At any rate, the quantity I made fit perfectly in one of my smaller roasting pans - I think it's a little larger than 9"x13".  That, plus three pans of yams (one candied with cinnamon and pecans, one candied with marshmallows and one plain), three quarts of cranberry sauce (I'm counting on leftovers of that!), seven pies... some veggies that I'll make tomorrow, possibly some Thai yellow curry sauce to go along with some of the veggies (which should be an adventure to make since my food processor bowl is broken and the replacement isn't supposed to arrive until December 2) ... and whatever anyone else brings tomorrow will hopefully feed almost 20 people.

Hard to believe, but we only have 17 chairs in our house for tomorrow... and here I always thought we had way too many.  :-)

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