Better Than Boxed….
About a month ago I asked my readers what kind of recipes they would like to see on my blog over the holidays. Several people responded and somehow time just slipped away with the move, and everything going on. But I promised one of my readers that I would make sure to create, and post, a recipe that she had been asking for, by the end of today. I know that it is only a few days before Thanksgiving, but it is so simple, and so easy, that everyone probably already has all the ingredients they need. There shouldn’t be any reason for adding extras to the shopping list, or running to the store just to make this amped up classic side dish.
I was actually pretty excited to create a different version of this classic side because it was one of my absolute favorites growing up, but to be honest, it just took way too much effort. Well, here is some great news, traditional stuffing doesn’t have to be time consuming, or difficult. This version is easier, healthier, and just as tasty. Ok, maybe even tastier. 😉
When I was growing up my mom always bought Stove Top Stuffing. After making this from scratch today I can’t figure out why she always bought the box. But she added so many things to it to make it more homemade. She always added onions, celery, apples, giblets, the heart, and neck meat. I usually use apples and celery in my stuffing, but this time I wanted to skip them, just to see if it would still be as good. Honestly, I didn’t miss them a single bit. The flavor profile was so high, and the texture difference with the pecans, made it superior in flavor.
I will admit that I didn’t want to run to the store and pick up anything that I was missing for a traditional stuffing, so I made it from what I had on hand. I wanted to prove that an amazing, old school stuffing, could be made with what is already in the pantry. Onions are one of my favorite parts of stuffing, but I didn’t have any so I reconstituted some dry onions that I had. I also know that sage, and thyme, are necessary seasonings for stuffing, but I never buy them because I just don’t use them separately that much, so I used Italian seasoning instead, which has both sage and thyme in it. And of course, pecans were a no brainer addition to add just the right flavor, and texture.
For some reason I don’t like to cook my recipes in big dishes. I find them easier to serve and/or save in smaller portions. I chose to use two 10 ounce ramekins instead of baking the stuffing in one big dish, but you can use a casserole dish if you would prefer. I also like the top to be crunchy, and the inside to be soft, but if you like it to all be soft, more of the texture of mashed potatoes, feel free to cover the dish with foil to keep the steam in. No dried onions? Use fresh instead. Missing the pecans? Use chestnuts. This dish is really easy, oozes Thanksgiving flavor, and is the perfect side. However, you slice it, dice it or chop it, make sure that you don’t miss making this bit of perfection so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy. (Not a traditional stuffing fan? You can find my Southern Cornbread Stuffing recipe HERE.)
What is your favorite holiday side?
What type of stuffing do you prefer?
Pecan French Bread Stuffing
By Angie Gouchenour
1 Tablespoon butter
6 ounces wheat French bread – cubed
1 Tablespoon dried onion – reconstituted (Or 3 Tablespoons fresh onion chopped)
3 Tablespoons pecans – roughly chopped
2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, or parsley – chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup chicken, or vegetable, broth
Preheat oven to 350’f
In a fry pan melt the butter
Add the onions, and pecans, to the butter until the onions are lightly brown
Stir in the cubed bread until coated allowing the pieces to lightly brown
Add the Italian seasoning, and salt and stir until evenly distributed
Slowly pour in the broth until the bread completely soaks it up
Transfer the stuffing to two 10 ounce ramekins, or a single casserole dish
Bake for 15 minutes (For a crunchy top leave uncovered. For a soft top cover with foil)
Remove from the oven, and serve
½ cup serving 217 calories