Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Baked stuffing is another one of those Thanksgiving recipes that's super easy to make vegetarian or vegan, yet few ever think to substitute the eggs or chicken broth or sausage or butter, or whatever other animal-based products that really don't need to be in a veggie dish.
Luckily, substitutes are easy and your guests, I'm sure, won't even notice the difference.
For this basic baked stuffing recipe, I used a savory combo of portobello mushrooms and sage, with some day old rosemary bread that I'd bought for my Thanksgiving sandwiches. (I wish I had Brussels sprouts to add to my stuffing, they would've been great!) You could also sweeten up your stuffing by adding apples or pears with sweet vidalia onions and chestnuts.
Obviously, you'll want to use Earth Balance to make those veggies buttery, and if you want to skip the beaten egg, I found that mixing warm veggie broth and corn starch worked just fine in thickening the broth to make it "eggy". The veggie broth might sound like a lot, but you really don't want dried out stuffing.
Besides, you'll want to keep your omnivore guests guessing as to what made your stuffing so moist and delicious, right?
* 1 loaf of day old country bread, cut into 1 in. cubes
* 4 tbsp. Earth Balance or butter
* 3 portobello caps, cleaned and cut into 1 in. cubes.
* 2 ribs celery, diced
* 2 shallots, sliced
* 1/2 cup walnuts
* 1 1/2 tbsp. rubbed sage
* 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
* 1 tbsp. fig vinegar (you can use balsamic if you cannot find fig- we lucked out with this find!)
* 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 tbsp. corn starch
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9 baking dish with butter or olive oil; set aside. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
2) In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, celery, shallots, walnuts, sage and thyme to the pan. Stir to coat, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies have just slightly softened. Drizzle with fig vinegar. Remove from heat. Add veggies to the bread.
3) In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat. Add bay leaf. When broth simmers, whisk in the corn starch until dissolved, and simmer for an additional minute. Remove from heat, and pour into bread-vegetable mix. Discard bay leaf and toss to coat.
4) Transfer soaked stuffing mix into the prepared baking dish; lightly press stuffing into the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and continue to bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until bread cubes on top are browned and crispy. Serve hot.