Stuffing


 

Stuffing is a wonderful addition to any chef’s repertoire.   It’s dead easy to make and hugely versatile.   Stuffing is basically a handful of breadcrumbs, an egg, a splash of oil and stuff.

I generally like to wrap my stuffing with a nice piece of lean bacon or a slice of parma ham for baking.   Obviously if you want a vegetarian version, skip that part or replace it with a cabbage leaf.    The part I like best in stuffing is the crisp surface, so I make individual balls or rolls and bake them like that.

I’ll give a few variations below but you should really experiment for yourself.

Apple and leek stuffing (works especially well with pork or turkey)

  • 1 apple
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • a bit of butter
  • 2 sage leaves and a pinch of thyme
  • handful of fresh breadcrumbs (don’t hesitate to use whole wheat bread for these!)
  • 1 egg (add an additional egg for every additional cup of stuffing)
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter or oil (this is one place that I prefer not to use olive oil, so I use rapeseed oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put the apple, onion, sage, thyme and leek into a food processor and zizz until finely chopped (but not liquefied!).
  2. In a pan, melt the bit of butter and then add the apple mixture.   Sweat slightly until the mixture is slightly drier and lightly coloured.
  3. In a bowl, mix the egg, oil, salt, and pepper.    
  4. Mix in the breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the apple mixture.
  6. Shape into balls.
  7. Wrap with bacon if desired.
  8. Bake until golden.
Mushroom and pancetta stuffing (lovely with beef!)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms per person
  • 1 stalk of celery per person
  • onion
  • lardons
  • a pinch each of thyme, marjoram, and rosemary.
  • handful of fresh breadcrumbs (don’t hesitate to use whole wheat bread for these!)
  • 1 egg (add an additional egg for every additional cup of stuffing)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Chop the vegetables.
  2. In a pan, fry the lardons until they render their fat, add the vegetables.
  3. In a bowl, mix the egg, oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix in the breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the apple mixture.
  6. Shape into balls.
  7. Wrap with bacon if desired.
  8. Bake until golden.
Some other possibilities include a saffron, citrus and sultana-based stuffing to go with fish (I’d add tomato juice to that one as I’d want a moister stuffing), a rosemary, mint and onion stuffing to go with lamb, or a blue cheese and walnut  stuffing to go with venison.    
If your stuffing is too dry, add some tomato juice.   If it’s too wet, add breadcrumbs or even a bit of flour to the vegetables before mixing into the egg mixture.   If you can’t shape it because it keeps falling apart, add another egg.  I very often add a courgette to increase the vegetable content.
The point is that stuffing is hugely versatile and in ten minutes you can create a unique side dish that even children will love.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s