by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Multi-Grain Bread, Pecan, & Dried Fruit "Stuffins"
Yes. I just added a word to the dictionary. I know, that's a little bit Rachael Ray of me, isn't it? Oh, and also? I just used Rachael Ray as a verb. That's just the way I roll. But it's also beside the point.
What I really wanted to talk about today is planning. Holiday planning. In truth, although deep down I know they're coming, the holidays usually sneak up on me. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and though I usually spend at least three weeks planning for it, it's never enough. Never enough in that I rarely get around to actually testing out any new recipes before using them. Yes, I'm the kind of girl who makes recipes for the very first time on the holiday. The day before or the day of the big dinner. Because, while I've always spent enough time pouring over glossy new magazines as well as trusty worn cookbooks and yellowed clippings looking for new twists on old favorites, I've never actually had the time to try a few of them out to see if we will actually enjoy them.
I started with an easy one. Something that everybody loves. Stuffing. Although technically, I suppose I should call it dressing since it is not actually stuffed inside of anything. But I grew up calling it stuffing. I think the only person I ever hear call it dressing is my grandma. The thing is, I like my stuffing with crispy bits. Wet, mushy bread is just not my thing. And I figured that portioning the stuffing up into individual servings and baking them in muffin tins would give me plenty of crispy bits. And I was not wrong. Every person is guaranteed a little crispy-domed portion that is moist and flavorful on the inside.
- 5 slices Nature's Pride Multi-Grain Bread
- ¼ c. brandy
- ¼ c. dried cranberries
- 3 Tbs. butter or olive oil
- 1 small onion, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large rib celery, small dice
- ⅓ c. pecans, toasted & chopped
- ¼ c. dried apricots, small dice
- handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbs. fresh sage, julienned (or 1 tsp. brushed sage)
- few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped (or ½ tsp. dried thyme)
- ½ tsp. whole fennel seeds
- ~1 c. chicken stock or broth
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- softened butter, for muffin tins
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.