We love stuffing. We’d rather have stuffing than the turkey. When the last bit of turkey is gone, we know we’ll have more, sometime soon. But we never get around to making another pan of stuffing (stuffing? dressing? see the difference below).
Here’s a mushroom stuffing recipe from Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog that everyone will enjoy—including vegetarians and vegans.
She’s particularly fond of the dried shiitake mushrooms from Sugimoto in Japan (they have a U.S. website and are also on Amazon).
Shiitakes are Japan’s favorite mushrooms. In certain preparations, dried Sugimoto shiitake mushrooms are a better choice than fresh ones for several reasons. They have much better flavor, enhanced nutritional attributes, and of course, will last a lot longer in your kitchen.
“That’s a whole lot to be thankful for right there. It should go without saying that these powerful little mushrooms definitely deserve a place of honor in your stuffing. I’ve got the perfect dish to grace your menu right here.”
Tangy sourdough and umami mushrooms are the foundation of this hearty, comforting stuffing. Infused with autumnal herbs and nutty browned butter, it’s a side dish you should invite over for Thanksgiving dinner.
You can also enjoy it any time of the year. There’s nothing seasonal about mushrooms, sourdough, and stuffing.
The flaxseeds are very high in fiber with a good amount of protein and a charming flavor. They’re also rich in heart-healthy fat. You can omit them if you like
Prep time is 20 to 30 minutes soaking time for the mushrooms, 15 minutes more for the other ingredients. Cook time is 35 to 45 minutes.
To make ahead of time, the stuffing may be prepared up until the final baking stage 1 day in advance; cover and chill until ready to bake.
We tried the recipe with 2-day-old challah instead of sourdough, also delicious. Just make sure you toast it first to get the bread cubes more dry and crisp.
1. SOAK the mushrooms in 3 cups of water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms but reserve the liquid. Separate the caps from the stems; slice the caps and finely mince the stems. Set aside.
2. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Spread the cubed bread pieces as a single layer on two baking sheets, making sure the cubes don’t overlap. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until evenly toasted. Set aside and increase the heat to 375°F.
3. SET a large saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle around the edges. Continue stirring, gently but continuously, for about 5 to 8 minutes. The butter will turn golden brown and begin to smell nutty.
4. ADD the onion, celery, cremini or button mushrooms, shiitake, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and become highly aromatic, 10 to 13 minutes. Add the poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper, cooking for 1 minute longer to incorporate.
5. TURN off the heat and sprinkle in the flaxseeds, tossing the vegetables to coat. Introduce the toasted bread and stir well to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Transfer to a larger bowl if needed to stir properly.
6. ADD the vinegar, shiitake soaking water and/or stock if needed, hazelnuts, and parsley. Mix well, making sure everything is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, spreading it out in an even layer.
For food safety reasons, stuffing in the cavity of the bird must reach the same 165°F temperature before it is ready to serve. If you have a vegetarian dressing, it’s not an issue.
(But if you have a dressing made with raw meat or seafood, do make sure it cooks to 160°F.)
It’s also a heck of a lot easier to make dressing, both in placing it in a pan instead of spooning it into the turkey cavity; and in avoiding the labor of scooping the stuffing out of the bird.
There may be regional traditions that select one term or the other. We grew up in the northeast, where it was always “stuffing,” no matter whether in the bird or in a casserole dish.
Allow us to use the words interchangeably in the recipe names. The cook decides if it’s going to be stuffing or dressing!
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