Classic Bread Stuffing with Onions, Celery and Herbs
Tangy fresh cranberries need to be cooked first in a light syrup to reduce their tartness before being added to stuffing. Stir a tablespoon of the drained cooking liquid from the cranberries into a glass of chilled white wine for a holiday cocktail. Remember this recipe when preparing stuffing for pork chops, a crown roast of pork, roast chicken, or turkey.
1 cup sugar
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger (shredded on the large holes of a cheese grater)
10 cups coarsely crumbled old-fashioned cornbread, dried overnight or in the oven, or packaged cornbread stuffing
1 cup slivered blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 to 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth, as needed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil over high heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook until the skins split, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook; the cranberries should remain relatively whole. Drain them in a wire sieve.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over the medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger and stir for 1 minute.
3. Scrape the cooked vegetables into a large bowl. Add the cornbread, drained cranberries, and almonds. Gradually stir in the eggs and about 1 cup broth, until the stuffing is evenly moistened but not soggy. Season with the salt and pepper. Use as a stuffing. Or place in a lightly buttered casserole, drizzle with 1/2 cup broth, cover, and bake as a side dish.
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Excerpted from 50 BEST STUFFINGS AND DRESSINGS by Rick Rodgers Copyright© 1997 by Rick Rodgers. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.