Saturday, December 04, 2010


This post probably won't be useful for another eleven months, but I think it's worth getting the recipe down now. Besides, stuffing is good. For the last few years my stuffing has had cornbread and mushrooms as a base. Usually I put in pine nuts, but they're expensive right now, plus I dread the pine nut syndrome. Everything in this recipe is flexible. I think the most important thing is to start with the stuffing inside the bird and then take it out and bake it for a while to make the top crisp up, but I made a vegetarian one by cooking it outside the turkey and moistening it with some mushroomy water, and it was good too.

  • some stale cornbread
  • two large onions, or one onion and a leek, chopped
  • two or three stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 pound wild mushrooms, chopped (chanterelles and hedgehogs are good)
  • a handful of dried porcini
  • lots of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • salt, pepper

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover them. After they've rehydrated a bit, reserve the water and chop the mushrooms. If the fresh mushrooms are chanterelles or another mushroom that holds a lot of water, put them in a dry pan over medium heat with a little bit of salt for a few minutes, until they give off most of their liquid. Remove from heat and set aside the mushroom liquid in the pan.

Put the butter in a very large skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onion and celery for about 15 minutes, adding some salt and pepper. Add the fresh and the dried mushrooms and cook for a while longer. Add the mushroom liquid, and cook a few minutes more. Add cornbread by roughly crumbling it up over the pan until you're happy with the amount. Remove from the heat, and add the parsley. Let this cool and put it in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook your turkey (or any other bird you feel like stuffing).

Put the stuffing into the bird, not packing it in tightly or filling up the cavity completely. It's fine if only half the stuffing fits. Roast the turkey. When it's close to done, take the stuffing out of the turkey (a big metal spoon works well for this) and put it in a casserole dish with the rest of the stuffing, stirring to mix up the turkefied and unturkefied parts. Put this back in the oven until the top is starting to turn brown and get crispy, maybe 30-45 minutes. It's fine to do this after the turkey is finished.

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