Tag Archives: sides

3 Sourdough Stuffing Recipes

Move Over Turkey, These 3 Stuffings Are Bound for Thanksgiving Stardom

Holiday meals just wouldn’t be the same without turkey’s best sidekick: stuffing. Soaked in gravy and flavoured with herbs and spices, it’s a holiday essential. Some home cooks follow recipes that have been passed down for generations, while others try their hand at new recipes every year, searching for a modern classic. Here, using one loaf of humble sourdough bread, we’ve created three different stuffing recipes to suit any menu. Try one or try them all, and add something a little different on your table this year.

Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base 
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Tear 1 (454 g) loaf sourdough into 1-inch pieces and divide between two baking sheets, spreading into a single layer. Toast bread in oven until golden and dry, about 15 minutes. Use in stuffing recipe of choice (below).

Date Walnut Stuffing

Date, Walnut and Cinnamon Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 3/4 cup torn pitted dates and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Sausage Stuffing

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, cook 400 g Italian sausage (casing removed), breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add in 2 ribs diced celery, 1 finely chopped onion and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage and 1/2 cup of roasted chestnuts (homemade, canned or vacuum-packed). Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

applecranstuffing

Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 thinly sliced onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add 1 large diced apple and cook for another minute. Stir in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 tsp salt, stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Turkey and stuffing are best buds, so we’ve compiled our best holiday bird recipes to pair with these newfangled stuffing centrepieces.

How to Shop For The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the turkey — it’s the magnificent centrepiece that the rest of the meal is planned around. Without the turkey, loading up your plate with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy (especially the gravy) just doesn’t seem right. Because the turkey is so vital, you should select your bird with care, and there are many things to consider when making your purchase.

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Fresh vs. Frozen

While neither fresh nor frozen is technically better than the other, there are several differences to consider. Frozen turkeys will have a sweeter taste than a fresh turkey’s gamey flavour,
they are cheaper than most fresh birds and are often more convenient. A frozen bird can be kept in your freezer for up to a year, while a fresh turkey should be purchased only a day or two before your holiday feast and stored in a very cold location. However, defrosting a frozen turkey takes a few days and must be done properly to prevent bacterial growth. (A note: pre-stuffed turkeys can also pose a risk for bacteria, so stuff your own!) Always look for Grade A meat, whether you opt for fresh or frozen.

When choosing a frozen bird, take a look at the shape of the turkey — a plump, round shape is typically best. This means there is lots of tender meat on the bones. A flatter, larger turkey may indicate a bony body, which can mean dry or tough meat. Inspect carefully; avoid freezer burn and ice crystals, and make sure there are no tears in the packaging. Don’t forget to look at the label and choose the freshest turkey possible!

If you opt for a fresh turkey, grocery stores and butchers are can provide decent poultry, but you can also make the trip to a farm. The advantage here is that you can actually ask questions about the turkey; how it was raised and its age. These factors will determine the freshness and taste of the meat. A younger turkey, for example, will be more tender than an older bird.

Organic

What exactly does organic mean? This means the turkey has been fed real grains, without pesticides and with no added growth hormones or antibiotics (which is what makes a turkey plump).
You will get a more natural taste, but pay a higher price for it. Although, around the holidays, most grocery stores have great sales on poultry, so shop around for a good deal. A truly organic turkey will be labeled with “no hormones” or “no antibiotics.”.

Free-Range

Free-range animals are given space to move around outdoors rather than being cooped up in the close quarters of a barn. Having some room for mobility and exercise actually helps to create
leaner and better textured meat. Plus, they are often ingesting natural foods (like grass and flowers) from their environment, which gives them more of a pure taste. Be warned, however, that not all
free-range poultry is necessarily organic. Read labels carefully.

Weight

It may sound crazy when you say you are cooking 20 pounds of meat, but for a big family meal, that is entirely normal. To make sure there is enough to go around (and some for leftover sandwiches, of course), purchase approximately 1.5 pounds per dinner guest. Cooking a large turkey takes several hours, so you may want to purchase two medium-sized birds to eliminate some cooking time.

Alternatives

Sometimes, a giant turkey just isn’t the right fit for your Thanksgiving meal, so here are a few alternatives:

Turkey Breast: If you’re hosting a more intimate dinner, several pounds of meat won’t be required. Opt for a turkey breast, which is white meat only.

Mock Turkey: Often referred to as “tofurkey,” this is vegetarian-friendly option involves no turkey whatsoever. It is usually in loaf form, made from tofu or a wheat protein.

Turkey Roll: These can be tricky to make, but are very easy to buy. It involves cutting the breast from the turkey in one whole piece, flattening it, stuffing it with filling and then rolling it. Fresh turkey rolls are available around the holidays, co check your local farmer or butcher.

For lots of delicious recipes for the holiday bird, check out Our Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

 

Cauliflower Bites with Turmeric Yogurt

Bright and Bold Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites

Turn a head of cauliflower into a flavourful and healthy appetizer in less than 30 minutes.

This meat-free “wing-style” dish will entice even the most discerning carnivore with its full flavour profile. Turmeric gives this dish it’s bright yellow hue, combined with cinnamon, pepper, cumin and thyme, for a fragrant spice combo you’ll want to use on more veggies. Serve as a quick party appetizer or as part of a larger meal as a tempting veggie side dish.

Cauliflower Bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites:
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Turmeric Yogurt Dip:
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced

To Serve:
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or diced green onion

Directions:

Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites:
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. In a large bowl, toss all cauliflower ingredients until florets are evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet.
3. Roast for 18 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender and beginning to brown on the bottom.

Turmeric Yogurt Dip:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk all dip ingredients until uniformly yellow. 2. Transfer to a serving bowl. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir before serving.

To Serve:
1. Arrange cauliflower on a platter, sprinkle with cilantro or green onion, and serve warm or room temperature alongside dip.

10 Delicious Ways to Dress Up Mashed Potatoes

With that big holiday dinner fast approaching, ask yourself this: are you getting tired of serving the same, boring old mashed potatoes each year? If you answered in the affirmative, you won’t go wrong with these mouth-watering recipes for mashed potatoes that will raise the bar at any holiday feast.

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1. Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs
Giada De Laurentiis adds bread crumbs and plenty of salty, melted Parmesan cheese to top this baked mashed potato masterpiece.

2. French Potato Purée
Superbly sophisticated, Laura Calder’s recipe puts a sensational spin on mashed potatoes with this creamy purée that will dazzle adult taste buds with its subtle complexity of flavours.

3. Crème Fraiche Mashed Potatoes
Anna Olson adds green onions, garlic and thick crème fraiche to these chunky mashed potatoes that make an ideal accompaniment for just about any main.

4. Garlic and Parsley Mashed Potatoes
Fresh, aromatic garlic is lightly sautéed in butter or margarine, combining with fresh parsley for a flavour-packed variation on the comfort-food classic.

5. Grandma’s Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
A time-honoured recipe from his grandmother, Michael Smith serves up this mouth-watering version of mashed potatoes that boasts golden-brown butter as its key ingredient, with just a touch of nutmeg to enhance the rich flavour.

6. Lynn’s Lobster Mashed Potatoes
“Opulent” doesn’t even begin to describe Lynn Crawford’s sumptuous recipe, with sweet, tender chunks of lobster tail mixed into buttery mashed potatoes for a decadent side dish that’s practically a meal in itself.

7. Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
You’ll be amazed at how adding just a bit of horseradish to mashed potatoes can add a zesty zip that takes this reliable side dish to new heights.

8. Grainy Mustard Mashed Potatoes
Fresh thyme and spicy whole-grain mustard add some deliciously powerful flavour to this kicked-up mashed potato recipe from Tyler Florence.

9. Baked Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta, Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumbs
Smoky pancetta bacon is the secret weapon in this unbelievably flavourful variation of mashed potatoes that’s certain to satisfy any crowd.

10. Cheddar Bacon Mashed Potatoes
Imagine a bacon cheeseburger combined with mashed potatoes and you get the idea behind this creative recipe that adds the unmistakable flavours of crispy bacon and sharp cheddar.

Brussels Sprouts Even The Pickiest Eaters Will Love

Brussels sprouts have always been one of the most feared vegetables among kids and it’s usually because they’ve only tried one version at home: boiled to a miserable soggy, mushy mess, with no flavour at all. Thankfully in recent years chefs have been doing this vegetable justice, browning the leaves to give them a crispy crunch, adding accoutrements like nuts and maple syrup, and pairing the otherwise bland vegetable with a bit of fat from umami bombs like bacon and cheese.

Here’s an easy way to serve up this cruciferous vegetable that’s loaded with vitamins K and C. Yes, it uses a bit of pancetta and butter, so it’ll never be as healthy as just steaming them, but then again, would you rather eat them without any flavour?

If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can also roast Brussels sprouts for 30-40 minutes at 400°F after tossing them in a light coat of olive oil. But below is the quicker version perfect for a weeknight dinner.

BrusselsSproutsPlate

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmesan

Ingredients:
(serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main)

1 pound (4 cups) Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
1/3 cups pancetta cubes
1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

BrusselsSprouts

Directions:
1. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the Brussels sprouts for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When it starts to brown, add the Brussels sprouts and stir occasionally. Continue cooking until the sprouts start to brown, 6-8 minutes.
3. Add the pancetta and cook until they start to brown and crisp up, 3-4 minutes. Pour in the maple syrup and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour into a serving dish and grate a bit of parmesan cheese on top. Serve immediately.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

Food Fetish: Harissa-Roasted Winter Squash

If you’ve never tried Harissa, my advice is to run—don’t walk—to your nearest grocery store or spice bar and grab yourself a stash. Because once you get a taste of this fiery Moroccan mixture of crushed hot red chilies, caraway, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt and spearmint leaves, you’ll want to throw this flavour bomb on just about everything.

From a rub on grilled meat, to a spicy addition to your best pasta sauce, Shakshuka, or the way I used it here on roasted vegetables, this bold spice mixture is an addictive way to lend depth to your favourite savoury dishes, and is just the sort of pantry addition itching to be experimented with.

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Since I find that roasted squash can easily veer toward being too-sweet, a healthy whack of Harissa is a real game changer. Once I factored in the bit of crunchy coating is gives the vegetables, this spicy side landed a reoccurring role on my fall cooking repertoire.

Since I was feeling a little festive, I crumbled some goat cheese on top, along with a few bright orbs of pomegranate for some extra pizzazz.

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Ingredients:

1 acorn squash, cut in to wedges
3 Tablespoons Harissa spice blend
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese*
Pomegranate seeds*
*Optional

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk Harissa spice blend, oil and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into 4 equal wedges.
  3. In a large bowl, toss squash wedges with Harissa mixture to coat. Roast for 10 minutes, toss once and continue to roast until squash is tender, 20-25 minutes.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.