Monday, November 11, 2013

Mushroom and Celery Stuffing

I know that technically when you don't cook your stuffing inside your turkey, it's called dressing. But I can't quite bring myself to do that because in my mind, dressing will always be something I drizzle on my salad. So I'm sticking with stuffing. I think we all know what I'm talking about. I've tried a lot of stuffing recipes over the years and maybe I should be ashamed to admit this, but I've never found a homemade one I liked as much as plain old Pepperidge Farm in the bag. I guess it's because that's what I grew up eating (and no, they're not paying me to say this). But I always wanted to find a homemade version I like just as much and this is the one. It's very unassuming - no chunks of sausage, apple or chestnuts (although I do love chestnuts). Just the basics. Sometimes that's all you need.

Serves 12

1 large loaf challah bread or decent quality white bread (such as Arnold brand)
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onion
2 cups diced cremini mushrooms
8-10 sprigs thyme, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian), preferably homemade
6 tablespoons butter + 1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1.      Heat oven to 275° F. Cut the bread into cubes, about ¾-inch each. Place cubes on a parchment lined sheet pan toast in the oven for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Set aside until completely cooled.
2.      Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy saute pan. Saute the onions until wilted, add the herbs, celery and mushrooms and cook until just slightly cooked through.
3.      In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, vegetables, melted butter and vegetable stock, and salt and pepper. Test for seasoning and adjust.
4.      Press stuffing into a large buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered parchment, and then foil. At this point, the stuffing can be held for several hours, but should be at room temperature before baking.
5.      Bake at 350º F. for 35-40 minutes. Remove the parchment/foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, to crisp the surface.

adapted from (submitted by MrsWheelbarrow)
thyme and rosemary
vegetables and herbs in the pot
adding butter, stock, salt and pepper
adding toasted bread cubes
in the pan
mushroom and celery stuffing

I love that the inside is moist, while the top is a little crunchy.

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