Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hmmm stuffing.... it's Holidays season

I was not a big fan of stuffing or dressing (as the English would call it). English dressing that my family made was very heavy and rich. It was mainly sausage meat and breadcrumbs.  It was also cooked inside the bird.  I didn't care for it much when I was growing up. When I lived in Hawai'i, I would have turkey with rice and mac salad, and tried to avoid stuffing most of the time. I also not crazy about stuffing in the bird, it was too rich for me. One Christmas looong time ago, I went from Hawai'i to Boston at Christmas to visit my friend Matt. Christmas was magically at the Mattus's house. Grand mama Mattus would make some of the most amazing cookies and pies, many interesting Lithuanian dishes and I discovered what good stuffing should be like. Her cooking changed me from a dressing hater to someone who look forward to the holiday tradition. Since she taught me how to make stuffing, this will always be her recipe.

Through the years, I did some changes to her recipe.She would have cut up pieces of  boiled gizzard and meat from the neck, an egg and 2 sticks of butter in the stuffing.  Here secret ingredient is the Bell seasoning, that's one ingredient that I will never change.  I have more vegetable in this version. I also cup the vegetable a bit bigger,  so that there is some texture when it is cooked down. If you want a little sweetness, you can add an apple and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. The recipe can easily be vegetarian by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
I am using the stuffing for a Roast turkey bread roulette today.

Grand mama Mattus's Yum Yum Stuffing
1 medium size onion, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves of garlic, finally chopped
1 shallot, chopped.
3 stalks of celery. Cleaned and trimmed. cut into 1/2" pieces
1 6oz package of mushroom, cleaned and sliced.
3-5 green onion, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
4 tbsp ghee or butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp Bell seasoning
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
6 cups day-old or any old bread,  cubed to make up 6 cups.
In a large saucepan, melt 4 tbsp ghee till hot. This may seem to be a lot of oil, but you will need it for the bread.
Saute onion, shallot and garlic till carmeralized.
Add celery and thyme, cook til vegetable slightly soften about 2-3 mins.
Add Bell seasoning, stir well
Mix in mushroom
Then green onion
Add 1/2 cup of white wine.
Pour in 2 cups of chicken stock
Bring to a boil
Fold in bread cubes and mix well. You may need to add more stock if the mixture seem dry. It depends on the bread you are using. I was making some cucumber sandwiches for a baby shower last weekend and I saved the crust.  My stuffing was actually a bit too moist today, I have to add more bread.
 Reduce heat to medium low, let the stuffing cook for 4-5 mins to blend in the flavors.
It's ready to use. I would usually transfer the mixture to a buttered casserole, drizzle with some dripping from the turkey. Cover bake for additional 30 mins.
Make about 4 cups of stuffing.

I used it in a turkey breast roulette this evening...


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