Cooking up the stuffing
Confession: I have never eaten stuffing in my life. Well, maybe once, when I was little. I think I tried it, decided it was absolutely awful and never touched it again. Until this past weekend. Jake and I were invited to a Bailey’s and Kahlua making party. I asked if there was anything they wanted me to bring. Jake brought home the answer “they want you to make salad dressing.” I thought this was kind of odd because my family just goes out and buys a bunch of Ranch dressing bottles, but whatever. I was all ready to make some really rad orange-yogurt salad dressing when I thought perhaps I’d better call one of the guys and make sure no one had any allergies that I didn’t know about. When I talked to him he seemed confused as to why I was making salad dressing. Turns out he meant “dressing” as in “stuffing” and my boyfriend misunderstood. Easily fixable. But as I have previously mentioned, I’d never actually eaten stuffing and had no idea how to make it. Enter Vegetarian Times, my life saver. I found a recipe for Chestnut and Apple Stuffing
but couldn’t for the life of me locate the chestnuts at the local Safeway. So Jake and I decided that hazelnuts would work just as well. We had to crush them using my mortar and pestle (my last gift to myself from when I got paid in the beginning of November…this was the 1st time we used it), but they ended up working just beautifully. I also used vegetable stock rather than the fake-chicken stock which also ended up just fine. Everyone seemed to love it and people said it was some of the best stuffing they’d had so I left that party with my ego particularly well fed as well as with a growler full of homemade Baileys. You should all give this a try too! Oh…and I tried it as well (OBVIOUSLY) and I have now decided that I like stuffing just fine.
Hazelnut & Apple Stuffing
10 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed
10 slices hearty white bread, cubed
1 14-oz. tube soy “sausage,” crumbled
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
5 ribs celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
2 tart apples, peeled and diced
1 cup hazelnuts
1/8 cup chopped ground sage
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Baked & Beautiful!
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Spread bread cubes in roasting pan, and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until toasted.
3. Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
4. Add soy sausage, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned.
5. Toss sausage with bread cubes in bowl.
6. Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat.
7. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
8. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 7 minutes more.
9. Stir in apples, chestnuts, and sage. Cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until apples are crisp-tender.
10. Add to bread mixture.
11. Increase oven heat to 350°F.
12. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
13. Toss stuffing mixture with broth, and season with salt and pepper.
14. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
15. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes.
16. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more, or until top is browned and crisp.