Stuffing has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dish, and for a long time I was under the impression that Stuffing was in fact the main dish of all Thanksgiving Dinners. See, I was raised a vegetarian, and even though there had been times when a turkey would sometimes be on the table, since my sister and I never ate it, I never paid much attention to it. Besides, the turkey was on the end of the table and the stuffing was in the middle, usually two big pans of it, and everyone loved it!
I know cooking stuffing in the bird has benefits for the turkey and the stuffing, but if you don’t also incorporate baked stuffing in the meal you are missing out. My aunts usually fill up the bird as well as bake a pan or two of stuffing for the family to enjoy. Stuffing baked in a pan gets this delicious golden crust on top, and then seals in the moisture and flavor in the breading underneath.
I have always loved stuffing, and have cooked Stouffers for myself on some lonely college all nighters. Its also a great dish to bring as a guest, especially as a vegetarian, because you can be sure there is no animal broth or flavoring in it. Plus, it’s a holiday classic, so most everyone is sure to enjoy it!
There are countless recipes out there, and I wanted to share a basic one, similar to the one my mother uses. I like my stuffing sweet, so I add a currants and apricots, and crunchy, so I add sliced almonds. You can use any dried fruit and nut combination in place that is your favorite.
1 Stick of Butter, plus more for greasing pan
10 cups of bread cubes, fresh and toasted or from the store (I prefer Whole Foods bags, they are nice and thick squares.)
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 celery stalks, sliced into half moons
2 small onions sliced
2 cloves chopped garlic
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley chopped
3 teaspoons sage chopped
3 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
3 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
4 large eggs
½ cup currants
½ cup dried apricots, chopped up
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt half the stick of butter in a skillet. Toss with bread in large bowl.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil, add celery, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt sautee until soft, about 20 minutes.
Add vegetable mixture to bread bowl, combine, add in half a cup of stock, more salt, pepper, and all the herbs. Combine, and then add 3 beaten eggs. Then add a half cup of currents and a half cup of apricots, incorporate. Add almond slices last. Add rest of broth to stuffing until moist.
Butter a baking dish or large pan, put in the stuffing, dot with remaining butter and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minues, uncover and cook for 15 -20 more minutes.