Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scarborough Fair Stuffing and Corn Muffin Stuffin'

In addition to cooking a turkey breast on Sunday, I also made my stuffing. My family has always been a white bread and Bell's Seasoning stuffing family and while I mostly wanted to stick to tradition, I also wanted to do something a little different. Last week I happened upon the blog "The Pioneer Woman Cooks!," where Ree had posted beautiful step-by-step instructions for her corn bread stuffing. She made it look so incredibly good (and her commentary is great) that I just had to try it!

I made some modifications to her recipe including making my corn bread using a mix (horrors---I never used bread or brownie mixes until I discovered the ones at Trader Joe's), and using vegetable broth instead of chicken (I'm serving 2 vegetarians and 2 non-poultry eaters on Thursday). Also, I tend not to really measure anything--just eyeball it. This is stuffing after all--it doesn't need to be precise. Another modification I made came from a phone call with my mom while I was busy cooking on Sunday. We were talking about Thanksgiving and she mentioned that she had been watching the Food Network all week for new Thanksgiving ideas. One that she particularly liked was from Rachel Ray who made individual stuffing portions using muffin tins. I thought this was a fun idea, and so I did this with my cornbread stuffing--hence I named it Corn Muffin Stuffin'.

Here's the ingredient list for the stuffings I made (this makes LOTS of stuffing--a baking dish full of regular bread stuffing and 16 corn muffin stuffin's).

2 loaves of Pane Rustica (chewy crusty white bread from Trader Joe's)
1 8" square pan of baked corn bread (I used Trader Joe's mix)
1 large (softball sized) yellow onion
1 1/2 celery hearts
3/4 cup salted butter
3 cups vegetable broth (or use chicken if you don't have a dad who is allergic to it)
Fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme chopped (that's the Scarborough Fair part)
(I used about 1/4 cup parsley, 2 teaspoons thyme, a tablespoon or so of sage, and 2 teaspoons or so of rosemary--no need to be precise)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

You can follow Ree's instructions with pictures here, or follow my instructions below which aren't as decorative.

Cut bread and cornbread into approx. 1"x 1" pieces and spread out on rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 200 degrees for about 1/2 hour--until it's dry (but not hard). Transfer about 3/4 of the white bread to a large bowl. Transfer 1/4 of the white bread and all of the corn bread to a second bowl. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add to it diced onion and diced celery. Let the onion and celery cook in the butter, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent and the bits stirred up from the bottom are starting to turn brown. Add stock. Simmer until hot. Add the herbs, plus salt and pepper to taste. Ladle 1/2 of the mixture over the bowl of white bread. Toss to coat. Pour into a buttered baking dish. And set aside. Ladle/pour the other half of the mixture over the white/cornbread mix. Toss to coat, and spoon into buttered muffin tins. Press the stuffing in (not too hard, you want it to stay in there, but you don't want it as hard as a rock), and mound a little on top so it looks like a muffin.

At this point, I covered the baking dish and the muffin tins in aluminum foil and stuck them in the freezer to bake and serve on Thursday. Of course, I had plenty and so I cooked some in a 350 oven for about 20-30 minutes and D and I ate it for lunch along with turkey and gravy. D loved the stuffing, as did I! Hope you do too!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi! This is making me even sadder that we won't be joining you on Thanksgiving! Stuffing looks great and love it in the little muffin cups! Mr. A is looking over my shoulder (and identifying 'sight words' in your blog!! he LOVED seeing Mercury with the mouse!). Have a great time! xoxo bsil