Now for the recipe, nope it's not using the produce from the above pic, but it's the recipe from our thanksgiving dinner, something so important that you can't think of having a turkey dinner without it....it's stuffing.
It's typically made with bread croutons, some veggies, nuts & dry fruits. You can either fill the big bird with it (which I don't like) or another popular way is you cook it separately and serve it as side dish (it's called dressing when cooked separately). This time when I cooked bread stuffing, it reminded me of bread poha my Mom makes with lots of veggies & nuts, though it's not exactly same but has many similarities. I ate the leftovers for the next day breakfast & loved it.
- 2 cups bread croutons(check notes for making your own)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped granny smith apple
- 1/4 cup or more roasted & chopped almonds & walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped apricots
- 1/4 cup raisins plus dried cranberries
- 2 Tblsp. of unsalted butter (or U can use all evoo instead)
- 2 Tblsp. of evoo(extra virgin olive oil (or you can use all butter instead)
- 1 Tblsp. of evoo for sauteing the vegetables
- 1/2 cup of vegetable stock or water ( I used turkey stock)
- salt as per taste
- black pepper as per taste
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- Heat butter & oil in a big heavy bottom pan. Add bread croutons to it & toss them to get coating of butter. Cook them on a med. heat for about 5-7 minutes, stir them in between. When they start to turn brown, take them out of the pan. If you don't have big pan do it in two batches using 1 spoon of butter & oil each, for each batch of croutons
- In the same pan heat 1 Tblsp. of evoo & add celery, carrots & apples. Cover and cook them till they get soft, if needed add little stock or water at a time.
- Once the veggies are soft add croutons, nuts & dry fruits. Also add salt, black pepper and parsley. Mix everything & add 1/2 cup of stock/water. cover & cook for couple of minutes.
- Turn of the gas. Let it sit for sometime before serving.
- This can be served as a side dish or can also be eaten as a snack or breakfast by itself. You can also top it with fresh cilantro(instead of parsley) & sprinkle some lemon/lime juice before serving. If you like you can also add other veggies like peas, bell pepper, green beans etc.. My mom makes bread poha version with some tomatoes in it.
Note : to make your own croutons, take 5 slices of 2-3 day old bread, preferably french bread or any hardy bread. I use whatever kind I have at home. This time I used multi grain bread. Cut the slices into 4 stripes & then further cut each strip into 4 pieces. Spread them onto cookie sheet & toast in the oven 350 degree F for roughly 10 min. or so. Shake them in between, once they turn crispy they are done. Remember if croutons are not crispy stuffing will turn mushy.
For Vegan version instead of butter evoo can be used.
This dish is quite healthy as I used multi grain bread to make croutons plus it has lots of veggies, nuts & dry fruits. Specially with all the other flavours going on kids can't figure out that it has multi grain bread in it(so no complaints). I'm sending this to WYF-Speciality event as I cooked it specially for Thanksgiving dinner and I'm also sending it to Yasmeen's HealthNut Challenge-3 : Healing Foods as it contains all the healthy ingredients from carrots to apples & almonds to cranberries. Last but not the least it goes to Radhika & Sudeshna's Food for 7 stages of life : Kids Event.
And yes, before I sign off did you guys guessed what the name of the fruit in above pic is. It's persimmon, known to the ancient Greeks as "fruits of the Gods". Saw it in the local Chinese farmer market, there were two varieties, one was sold in the pack of 6 or 8 that looked more like round tomatoes. The one I got was sold loose, so I got just one to taste, later checked on the wiki it's called "Hachiya". It was too(when I say too I really mean tooooooo) sweet, pulp inside had similar texture like ripe mango pulp but it was too sweet (we, in fact he only ate one bite, ate it just raw) may be I should have made milk shake with it.