Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Right Stuff(ing)

By Judith Garfield

Ready to buck tradition and surprise your family with a new and exciting stuffing dish this Thanksgiving?

I think not.

There are as many variations on stuffing (or dressing as they politely call it in the South) as there are imaginative cooks, but that’s no reason for me to abandon my remarkably simple, delightfully ordinary, completely delicious bread stuffing. Stuffing is a personal thing and we all have our ideas of what tastes best. People can be quite attached to their childhood favorite and would never think of trying something new.

I must admit I fall into this camp. I liken my stuffing to the quintessential little black dress. Simple, classic, and unadorned. You will not find any thing resembling fruit, nuts, or sausage in my loveless stuffing. No cranberries, water chestnuts, mushrooms or olives. And cornbread is out of the question.

Sure, you could probably make a tasty stuffing with one or more of those ingredients, but for me, less is more. One Thanksgiving my friend brought her stuffing that she couldn’t stop talking about-cornbread, apples, walnuts, etc. I made my version and both were passed around the table. You know where this is going. First helping-tie. Second helping-loveless by a knockout.

Here’s my recipe. As usual, proportions are approximate. Serves 10 to 12.

1/2 stick of butter
2 c. chopped celery
2 med. onions, diced
a loaf of white bread (20 ounce size)
a loaf of oatmeal or whole wheat bread
turkey liver (take it out from inside turkey)
2 eggs
1 c. water or chicken broth

Toast the bread lightly and cube it. Sauté the turkey liver, onions, and celery in the butter. Add this mixture to the bread with the eggs and water. Mix well. Hands work best. Season with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of dried sage. Stuff your bird and put any leftover in a baking dish. Cook the extra with the turkey for last thirty minutes.

I usually never have leftover stuffing to eat with my leftover turkey, but if I did I would put it on a nice sourdough roll with cranberry sauce and herbed mayo- Thanksgiving on a roll.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, LC. Keep it simple stupid (KISS) applies to Thanksgiving foods, especially stuffing. There are certain traditions you just don't mess around with. Your recipe sounds yummy. I suggest you double it to ensure leftovers ---after all, what's turkey without the stuffing.

Anonymous said...

Stuffing is frankly the best part of Thanksgiving. I don't know why the Turkey gets so much attention. If it were up to me, I would put stuffing on my plate with a little side of Turkey. Nothing like bread doused in butter, if you ask me. But leftovers are a must!!!!

Big Shantz said...

it would be a shame to only be able to eat 2 plates of food on thanksgiving. if you would like to "make like the yorkie", as we call it in my house,
( i suggest that for the next 12 days you eat huge bowls of vegetables, washed down w/ gallons of water, in order to stretch your stomach. your dining companions will be amazed, & jealous, as you eliminate your host's need for tupperware. wait a minute, this actually sounds evil.

FishmanLaw said...

Great article. Growing up my mother insisted on making some family-recipe stuffing every thanksgiving despite the fact that her family obviously had no clue how to make stuffing. While I shamefully admit that the childhood scaring has resulted in me being a Stovetop lover & not often adventerous to stray, I'm willing to give the above recipe a taste if you'll have me for thanksgiving.