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Three stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving, from traditional to exotic

Classic stuffing is a staple at the Thanksgiving table. But there are many ways to add some variety to the dish.

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Classic stuffing is a staple at the Thanksgiving table. But there are many ways to add some variety to the dish.

The safest way to make stuffing is outside of the turkey cavity, on its own in a large, glass baking dish. The most delicious way to make stuffing? Well, that's up for continuous debate. We've chosen three recipes than run the gamut from traditional to Southern to Mediterranean-flavored.

Michelle Stark, Times food editor

easy

CLASSIC STUFFING

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth (or vegetable if making some or all of the stuffing vegetarian-friendly)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 8 cups toasted or stale bread (cut into 1-inch cubes)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a large baking pan or casserole dish (such as a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan).
  2. In a large deep skillet over medium, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the broth, salt, pepper, sage, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the bread cubes. If desired, reserve some for stuffing the turkey. Transfer the remaining mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is toasted.
  3. Stuffing that is cooked in the bird must reach 165 degrees by the end of cooking. Use an instant thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing to get an accurate reading. Stuffing that is cooked in a baking dish should be drizzled with pan drippings from the roast turkey just before serving (unless it is intended for vegetarians). Serves 8.
Source: Associated Press

This somewhat controversial option is a traditional Thanksgiving side dish in the South.

easy

OYSTER DRESSING

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small loaf white sandwich bread (about 8 small slices)
  • 2 sleeves (8 ounces) saltine crackers, crushed, divided
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 pints fresh oysters, drained

Instructions

  1. Cut or tear the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and let dry on a sheet pan overnight. Alternatively, dry the bread in a 200-degree oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine half of the crushed crackers with the dried bread cubes. Set aside.
  4. In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 1 stick of the butter. Add the shallots, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the pepper, thyme, onion powder and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Add the chicken broth and cream. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Ladle half of the mixture over the cracker and bread mixture, tossing gently to combine until just moist.
  5. Add the oysters and gently toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, then pour the remaining cream mixture over it. Sprinkle the remaining crackers over the top. Cut the remaining stick of butter into small pieces, then scatter those over the top. Bake until the top is lightly browned and crispy, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 12.
Source: Associated Press

medium

Rosemary Whole-Wheat Stuffing with Figs and Hazelnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 20-ounce loaf whole-grain bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ cups blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup tawny port or red wine
  • 1 cup dried figs, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet, and dry overnight. Or dry in 250°F oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Toast dried bread cubes on baking sheet 30 minutes, stirring twice. Cool, and transfer to large bowl.
  3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and spread hazelnuts in pan. Toast 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hazelnuts turn light golden brown. Cool.
  4. Heat port to boiling in small saucepan. Stir in figs and cranberries. Set aside to steep.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook 10 minutes, or until onions are golden, stirring frequently. Stir in rosemary, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir onion mixture into bread cubes. Fold in dried fruit and port.
  6. Whisk together broth and remaining 3 tablespoons oil in bowl. Pour broth mixture over bread cube mixture, and mix until bread is moist, but not soggy. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  7. Spread stuffing in prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving. Serves 12.
Source: Vegetarian Times

Three stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving, from traditional to exotic 11/19/15 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2015 12:32pm]
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