There is no better time of year for someone who loves cooking and baking than November and December. From Thanksgiving dinner, to peppermint cookies, to Hanukkah latkes, to New Years Eve appetizers, there is such a variety of ingredients, flavors, and themes that I can use in my cooking and baking that are special to these Winter months. As you can tell, I hold myself to high standards in the holiday spirit and enthusiasm category. I’m determined that I will, until the end of the holiday season, continue to bake only wintery and holiday themed recipes.
Staying in the realm of classic holiday dishes, I decided that this week I was in the mood to make classic Thanksgiving stuffing. Although this recipe appears, at first glance, to have nothing that differs from grocery store stuffing kits, the effect of freshly cut bread is powerful. The fresh bread gives this dish a fluffier texture and lighter consistency and helps to bring forward the flavors of the other ingredients. Although stuffing has always been one of my favorite holiday dishes, making it from scratch is always better.
This stuffing was fresh out of the oven when we ate it and it would perfectly compliment any other Winder holiday meal (OF COURSE!!). Don’t forget homemade turkey gravy. Happy December!!!!
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
9 cups white or sour dough bread cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Lay the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, or until slightly crispy.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove Dutch oven from the heat.
- Gently toss the toasted bread with the celery mixture and the remaining ingredients, using spoon, until bread cubes are evenly coated.
- Use to stuff one 10- to 12-pound turkey. Or to bake stuffing separately, grease 3-quart casserole or rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.
- Place stuffing in casserole or baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.