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Food Blog | the ultimate Christmas stuffing




December 10, 2013
13:11

by Liz Dellapenna


In my family, we actually don’t have too many traditional Christmas dishes that we make every year. Often, the food is relatively similar to the food we make for Thanksgiving. Stuffing is a classic Thanksgiving dish, but can certainly be used to stuff the poultry being served at Christmas as well. We typically eat our stuffing as a side dish, in addition to stuffing the bird.

A year ago, I went to a Thanksgiving party that my boyfriend’s Danish friends were hosting. They made turkey and mashed potatoes, which seemed to be the extent of their traditional Thanksgiving fare. To my horror, the stuffing they served consisted of turkey innards and prunes. Unsurprisingly, nobody ate it.

I mentioned that American stuffing is typically bread-based. Apparently, the male component of this couple had done some research and had found that out too. However, it seemed really strange to them and the girlfriend insisted that they make it the Danish way instead.

I’ve decided to go for the tastier American-style, bread-based stuffing. I like this dish because I love cornbread and pecans, so it’s a bit of a twist on the traditional bread used in stuffing. The cornbread recipe can be used separately, if desired. It’s a bit sweeter than traditional Southern cornbread, but delicious nevertheless. The stuffing can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to five hours.

Pecan Cornbread Stuffing
Buttermilk Cornbread:
100g butter, melted
1.6 dl white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2.4 dl buttermilk
½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
2.4 dl cornmeal
2.4 dl all-purpose flour
Stuffing:
3.5 dl coarsely chopped pecans
4 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
salt and ground pepper
1.2 dl dry white wine
buttermilk cornbread (see above)
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
3 large eggs, beaten
5 dl chicken broth, heated

For cornbread: Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Grease a 20cm baking pan. Combine eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in melted butter. In separate bowl, combine sugar, baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Pour dry into wet and blend. Pour into pan and bake (for 30 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For stuffing: Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes; set aside. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery and season. Cook, stirring, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine, and cook until evaporated. Transfer to large bowl; cool slightly.
Add cornbread, sage, eggs, and pecans. Season with 1½ tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Pour 125 ml hot broth over cornbread mixture. Toss gently. Stuffing should be moist not soggy.

After stuffing poultry, spoon remainder into buttered 2-liter baking dish; pour up to 2.5 dl of broth over top to moisten. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes; uncover, and bake until browned, about 15 minutes more.

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