Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sourdough Stuffing with Apples and Ham

Is there anything better than an entire recipe based around toasted bread? Here's a great stuffing recipe to keep in mind over the holidays.  Or check out my New England Sausage Stuffing with Chestnuts from last year, if you prefer.

Please excuse the "poultry seasoning" in the ingredient list below.  What a terrible name for a delicious blend of spices, but that's the label under which it will be sold at your supermarket.

  • 12 cups (1/2-inch cubed) sourdough bread (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 cups vertically sliced red onion
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 cups chopped vegan ham (such as Lightlife)
  • 2 cups diced and peeled Braeburn apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
  • Cooking spray
1. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, until toasted.  You'll start out with a beautiful fresh loaf of sourdough that whittles down into a big pile of bread cubes - so much better than pre-packaged stuffing.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and celery; saute for 4 minutes.  Add the ham, apple, thyme, poultry seasoning, black pepper, and salt; saute for 2 minutes.

3. Combine the onion mixture with the bread cubes in a bowl, tossing gently.  Definitely use your largest bowl for this operation, and even then it will probably be close to overflowing.  Add the broth and toss gently to combine.  Spoon the mixture into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 35 minutes, until golden brown.

A couple make ahead tips: you can toast the bread cubes up to 3 days before serving, and store in an airtight container.  Likewise, the onion mixture will keep, covered, in the fridge for 3 days.  So come serving time it's simply a matter of tossing together with the broth and baking. Do note, however, that this stuffing doesn't reheat very well, so you will want to bake just before serving.

No need to wait until Thanksgiving to serve this stuffing; try serving with individual Gardein stuffed turkey with gravy, and green beans on the side.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (about 1 cup), Calories 179 

Tasting Notes:
Definitely my new favorite stuffing.  Beautifully spiced, and I loved the sweet apples in contrast to the savory elements of the dish.  The broth bound it all together perfectly, so the stuffing was tender in the middle, but crisp on top. The sourdough bread added a pleasant tang in place of more standard French bread.


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