If you want Stovetop stuffing, read no further! But if you want stuffings that are the highlight of your meal Thursday, try one of these. The first recipe is from a friend, another from me.
Wild Black and Red Rice Stuffing
This recipe is from Howard Fifer (thanks for sharing the idea over coffee at Perks on Sunday!) He makes this ahead of time, puts into a glass baking dish, then heats it on Thanksgiving day, letting it brown just a tad on top before serving. This is a perfect dish if you are serving someone who requires a gluten-free dish, or is vegetarian. I’m tempted to stop by for leftovers…
wild rice, 1/2 pd dried mahogany rice (also called wehani rice), 1 pd dried black rice (available at specialty markets, locally at Mrs. Green’s), 1/2 pd, dried vegetable stock portabella mushrooms, 2 large caps, cleaned, sliced thinly, and cut into 1 inch pieces celery, 3 stalks green onion or chives, 1/2 cup chopped caramelized onions, 1 large raisins, 1/2 cup cashews, unsalted, lightly toasted cranberries, dried, 1/2 cup cherries, dried, 1/2 cup butter, 1 stick fresh rosemary (or thyme), chopped fine sea salt to taste
Cook wild rice according to directions, substituting vegetable stock for water. Cook wehani and black rices together according to directions, substituting vegetable stock for water. Caramelize onions. Saute chopped celery and sliced portabellas on low heat in butter with fresh herbs, adding in chopped chives or green onions. Add in cranberries and cherries and raisins. Slowly stir in all three types of cooked rice, and the caramelized onions. Taste, add salt if necessary. Howard prefers to heat this in an oven dish on Thanksgiving day, rather than using it to actually stuff a turkey!
Heather’s Queen of Stuffings Recipe
This stuffing has developed over a number of years of trials. Every year my mother and I collaborate on stuffings. We usually make one to actually stuff the turkey, and another that we cook in an oven dish. We began this family tradition about 20 years ago because I was a vegetarian at the time and wanted my own stuffing. The second year we did this my veg stuffing was eaten before I even got any. I remember that we had only made a small dish of it, but it had chestnuts in it to make it ‘meaty’. The following year we got bolder with the seasonings, and by 5 years ago we were making one based on quinoa and nuts and fruits, and another with whole-grain breads and apricots. One year we made one with a whole-grain brown rice bread base and quickly realized how important the preparation techniques are, for instance, toasting or letting the bread go stale ahead of time is key to keeping the bread from crumbling as it get stirred and infused with the flavors.
celery, 4 stalks, chopped 1 large red onion, chopped fine 2 bulbs shallots, chopped fine 2/3 cup organic red wine, no added sulfites 1 cup dried apricots, sulfite-free, chopped 1 cup chestnut meats, roasted 1 cup pecans, broken 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries 1 cup chopped apple 1 cup butter 1 cup organic canola oil 1 stem rosemary, central stem removed, chopped fine 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped fine 1 TBSP thyme leaves, central stem removed, chopped fine 1 TBSP parsley, chopped fine sea salt to taste, 2 whole cloves, 3 whole peppercorns, powdered sage and rosemary, or if you have it, 1/2 drop each rosemary or sage essential oils (these got the greatest reviews!) 1 loaf whole-grain artisan 100% spelt bread, cut into 1 inch or smaller pieces, dried in low oven until beginning to harden on outsides 1 loaf whole-grain artisan rye or rye-spelt or other heavy, whole grain, sourdough or levain bread, cut into 1 inch or smaller pieces, dried in low oven until beginning to harden on outsides*
Saute onions and celery on low heat in canola oil until translucent, adding in shallots, whole clove and peppercorns halfway through. Add in chopped herbs, and butter and cook on low until butter is melted. Add in wine and simmer 3 minutes. Remove whole clove and peppercorns. Slowly stir in bread chunks, stirring constantly until all pieces are coated in the butter mixture. Slowly add in nuts and fruits, stirring gently so that bread doesn’t break too much, but that nuts and fruits are distributed evenly and flavors are well mixed in. Remove from heat. Transfer to deep, oiled baking dish. Cover and bake for approximately 1 hour, depending on oven temp, moisture level of bread. Stuffing should be moist and savory. Try it with gravy or cranberry-apple sauce!
The bread in this recipe is key, and it isn’t easy to find suitable bread for it. It’s become so important to us that I special order bread from Little Stream Bakery in Canada. I have also successfully used a whole spelt bread found at Mrs. Green’s.
Keep it green. The kitchen is my one of my favorite places in the house, so I’m dedicated to keeping it green. Consider the environmental and health impacts of what you put into your kitchen sink and into your body. Buy local, organic and non-toxic.