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Happy Turkey Day!

November 23, 2011

Tomorrow is the official start of the winter holidays, at least in my mind. I will be spreading Thanksgiving out over two days – one with my husband’s family, and one with mine. I am so thankful to have both of our immediate families so close to us! I do wish we could bring a few more people closer – I miss them even more during the holidays. I hope you get to spend time with your nearest and dearest this holiday season.

I’ll be doing a little cooking, and I thought I’d share a quick dressing/stuffing (whatever you call it!) recipe. This year I’ll be using part of this recipe to stuff mushrooms (still making a casserole full for the purists). I’m making it vegan, but you can switch out butter for the olive oil and chicken or turkey broth for the veggie broth for a more traditional dish. Get your bread and cube it a day ahead so it has time to get stale, or toast your cubes for a few minutes to dry them out before assembling this. (I’m using a loaf of garlic sesame bread for extra flavor.) I caramelize the onions for a sweet taste, and I’ve included instructions on making the stuffed mushrooms at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 cups bread cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • other herbs, as desired (I like to add savory, oregano, basil, and whatever else I come across, especially when I’m making this vegan, to add to the flavor)
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

Sauté the celery, mushrooms, red pepper and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until softened – don’t forget to add some salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme or other herbs – season at each step and the flavor will be great! Remove the veggies from the pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil and the onions, seasoning again. Saute until caramelized. In a large bowl combine the veggies, onions, bread and seasonings. This is completely safe to taste for seasoning as you go, so take a bite before you bake to check for salt, pepper and herbs. Stir in broth 1/2 cup at a time until well moistened. Bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325° for about 35 to 45 minutes. Take the cover off the last 5 minutes to brown.

If you’d like to make stuffed mushrooms clean your mushrooms and remove the stems (you can use the stems, chopped, in your stuffing recipe). Toss the caps with a small amount of olive oil and season lightly with salt, pepper and thyme. Place the caps upside down in a lightly greased baking dish. Add a heaping spoonful of the stuffing to each cap – really push it down in there and mound it up as much as you can – this is about the stuffing after all! Bake at 325° for about 25 minutes. (If you’re not going vegan, add some parmesean, romano or other hard cheese to the top of these – yummy!)

Happy Turkey Day everyone! Go forth and be thankful!

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