Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Test Kitchen, Take 3

I enjoy Thanksgiving so much more now that I'm in charge of the cooking... what does that say about me? 

Over the past week or so, I've started the planning process for this year's meal, and I'm pretty excited about how its going. This year, only one of my sisters is coming, the one who loves me more (I kid!). I hope she's ready to jam her hand up a turkey butt!

So last year, we tested two Thanksgiving stuffings for you guys. This year, I picked a couple more, tweaked them a bit and made a small test portion for Sanne and me for dinner. I used the same base recipe from Real Simple that we used last year, and changed the add-ins. Here's how it all went down...

I made these simultaneously, which was good exercise for my brain. I used cornbread for one and wheat for the other. So the first step was drying out my breadcrumbs in the oven.

Sanne's homemade corn muffins
10 or so minutes in a 350 oven 
The next step was to cook onions and celery in butter. For the first batch, I added 1 1/2 chopped jalapenos to the pan.

In the second, I substituted the celery for fennel. Before I cooked this batch, I cooked some hot italian sausage and set it aside.

These both cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Then you add chicken or vegetable broth.

In stuffing #1, I did 1/2 broth, 1/2 boston lager. Stir in wheat breadcrumbs and some chopped green onion.

Transfer to a greased baking dish and top with grated cheddar cheese. Add a little more green onion.

In the second stuffing, stir in stock and cornbread breadcrumbs, cooked sausage, some chopped sage and 1 peeled and chopped apple.

Because they were smaller portions, I baked both of them together for about 2/3 the time.

20 magical minutes later...

cornbread stuffing with apple, fennel and spicy sausage

jalapeno cheddar beer stuffing

You can probably imagine how amazing this stuff smells. No, you can't imagine. It's indescribable. Sanne and I were talking about how growing up, if we had stuffing at all, it was the Stouffer's boxed stuff, which is kind of sad. I guess it's a lot quicker and easier. Both of our mothers were cooking these meals alone, so I can't say that I blame them. But what a shame we haven't tasted stuffing as delicious and fun as these until recently!

I know we asked this last year, but what are your favorite stuffing fillings? We want to try a different aspect of T-Day meal for the next test kitchen... what would you like to see? Desserts? Breads?

As you know, stuffing is not a meal by itself, so stay tuned for the second part of our dinner!


  1. What one did you like better? I can't believe you didn't pick!!

  2. i want both of these

  3. It's so hard to choose... they were both soo good!

  4. I never liked stuffing before last year! I love the one with sausage, I'm gonna make that this year!

  5. Hey I like Stoufers!! But these look good too :)