KITCHEN ES­SEN­TIALS

Food & Drink - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY LUCY WAVER­MAN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY VINCE NOGUCHI

Stuff­ing: Ex­pand your skills or learn some­thing new through cook­ing meth­ods, in­for­ma­tion, recipes and tips.

Some peo­ple find mak­ing stuff­ing a chore they would rather avoid for their hol­i­day din­ner. But pack­age stuff­ing mixes just don’t cut it, nor do the flavoured bread cubes: too pro­cessed and too salty. Stuff­ing is su­per easy to make if you just fol­low a few rules.

STAN­DARD BREAD STUFF­ING

This is a stan­dard bread stuff­ing for the hol­i­day poul­try, but it is so flex­i­ble. You can change or add in­gre­di­ents (see AD­DI­TIONS). Use ½ to ¾ cup (125 to 175 mL) stuff­ing for each pound of turkey.

⅓ cup (80 mL) but­ter or 3 tbsp (45 mL) each but­ter and oil

2 cups (500 mL) chopped onion

3 stalks cel­ery chopped, about 1½ cups (375 mL) ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh pars­ley

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh sage

1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme

10 cups (2.5 L) stale egg bread or white bread, torn into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1 egg, beaten

1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock, ap­prox.

Salt and pep­per

Squeeze le­mon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated le­mon rind

1 Pre­heat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 Heat but­ter in a fry­ing pan on medium heat and add onions and cel­ery. Sauté un­til soft­ened, about 5 min­utes. Stir in pars­ley, sage and thyme.

3 Place the torn bread in a large bowl and stir in the veg­eta­bles. Grad­u­ally stir in beaten egg then chicken stock un­til stuff­ing is well moist­ened. Sea­son well with salt and pep­per. Add a squeeze of le­mon juice and le­mon rind. Stuff into the turkey or spoon into a buttered bak­ing dish. Do not pack tight as the stuff­ing ex­pands.

IN A BAK­ING DISH:

Cover tightly with foil and bake un­til hot in the cen­tre, about 20 to 25 min­utes. Un­cover and bake un­til golden on top and crisp around the edges, 10 to 15 min­utes more.

IN THE BIRD:

If the stuff­ing is go­ing into a turkey, it will be cooked by the time the turkey is cooked. Stuff­ing does not al­ter bak­ing time when in a bird as it cooks from both the in­side and the out­side.

Makes about 8 to 10 cups (2 to 2.5 L), de­pend­ing on bread used, enough for a 14-lb (6.35-kg) turkey TIPS

In­stead of bread, swap in 5 cups (1.25 L) cooked grains such as rice or quinoa. You will need about 1¾ cups (425 mL) dry long­grain rice or 2 cups (500 mL) dry quinoa to make 5 cups (1.25 L) cooked.

Use other breads such as whole wheat, multi-grain, pump­kin, sour­dough or rye, all of which change the flavour of the stuff­ing slightly and will in­crease the amount of stock you need.

Use low-salt pack­aged stock if you do not have home­made.

AD­DI­TIONS

If adding many ad­di­tions, you will need more stock. Con­tinue adding stock grad­u­ally un­til clus­ters of bread hold to­gether when squeezed in the palm of your hand.

2 cups (500 mL) diced ap­ples, sautéed with the onions

1 cup (250 mL) chopped nuts

1 lb (455 g) sausage re­moved from cas­ing and sautéed with the onions

½ lb (225 g) diced mush­rooms, sautéed with the onions

2 cups (500 mL) diced fen­nel in­stead of the cel­ery

1 cup (250 mL) dried chopped fruit of any kind added with the bread

1 cup (250 mL) diced roasted chest­nuts added with the bread

Herbs in place of sage such as, tar­ragon, cilantro, mar­jo­ram, sum­mer savoury, thyme

Dried spices such as cel­ery seed, savoury, cin­na­mon, chili

Any cit­rus both rind and juice

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