Four Ways To Make Stuffing


Stuffing is a Thanksgiving tradition, but it hearkens back to a much earlier time. The act of putting dried bread, celery, and onions in a meat product dates back to ancient Rome. Medieval people called it "farce," while Victorians called it "dressing." While the FDA now recommends that we cook the stuffing separately, it's still an integral part of our holiday meal.

Stuffing has long been a flexible food. The ancients stuffed creatures like dormice and hares with nuts, cereals, and vegetables. While stuffing now traditionally comes in a bag, it can be bland on its own. Luckily, its flexible nature- it can absorb the taste of many different ingredients- gives you plenty of room to get creative.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Traditionally, stuffing uses dried bread. But for the gluten-free crowd, you can also use wild rice instead of gluten products. For a nice wild rice stuffing, use a cup and a half of wild long-grain rice instead of regular stuffing. Begin by cooking the rice: bring it to a boil and let simmer for ten minutes. Stir in celery, chicken broth, onions, and dried cranberries. Once the mixture is done, you can cook it in the oven for 50 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the broth.

Using wild rice is a slightly healthier way of making stuffing. Regular stuffing is composed of dried white bread, but wild rice adds protein and fiber to the dish. If you're looking for a fiber-rich alternative to regular stuffing, consider using long-grain wild rice.

Orange Juice Stuffing

This recipe uses store-bought stuffing from the bag, but spices it up with the addition of orange juice, sliced apples, and chopped walnuts. Instead of cooking the stuffing in a regular chicken or vegetable broth, try substituting orange juice instead. Add the sliced apples and walnuts, then cook in the oven according to the package directions. It's a low-sodium alternative that gives the dish a delicious, fruity taste.

Many other fruits work well in stuffing. In addition to adding fruit juice to your stuffing (we recommend fresh-squeezed), you can add dried cranberries, sliced apples or pears, or raisins. You can also use lemon or orange zest in your stuffing if you like a fruitier flavor.

Challah Stuffing

For many people, Thanksgiving falls around the same time as Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday. You can use challah, which is the traditional Jewish Shabbat bread, in your stuffing. Chop up two loaves of challah and leave for a day to go slightly stale. You can then substitute it for store-bought stuffing packages and make in a regular recipe.

Mushroom and Bacon Stuffing

Stuffing doesn't always have to be about sweeter flavors. You can add more of a savory taste with wild mushrooms, bacon bits, and chopped walnuts. Other savory stuffing foods include figs and toasted brioche cheese, which both go great with mushroom and bacon. When it comes to stuffing, the world is yours- you can customize it to your favorite flavors, whether they're sweeter, spicier, or more savory.

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