Thursday, 22 May 2008

Classic Bread Stuffing

This is a great left over meal which makes a classic recipe, plus a vegetarian alternative to stuffing traditionally made with sausage meat.

200g butter
3 cups chopped onion
2 1/2 chopped celery including the leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
2 teaspoons celery seeds
pinch grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound loaf good quality white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 to 12 cups), stale or lightly toasted
1/2 taspoon pepper
1/2 cup stock, milk or white wine

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the half the butter. Add the onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, celery seeds, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Cook covered, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. In a large bowl toss the sauteed vegetables with the bread cubes. Season with pepper.

3. Melt the remaining butter. Pour it over the stuffing, (if you want a less rich stuffing you can substitute more stock for the butter), along with the 1/2 cup of stock, and toss to coat. The stuffing should just hold together when mounded on a spoon.

4. Stuff the bird, being careful not to pack the turkey too much with the stuffing. If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird.

5. Bake the casserole covered until heated through, 45 minutes to an hour. For a crunchy top, uncover for the last 15 minutes of baking.

The perfect accompaniment or sandwich filler!

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