chestnut mushroom stuffing
We like chestnut stuffing. We like mushroom
stuffing. So why not do both at once by combining recipes? Which is precisely what we
did for our last Thanksgiving of the millennium. With four cooks in the kitchen the
process was not exactly under control, but the dr bob cooking team is more into anarchy
than control anyway.
On our trial chestnut roasting and shucking (shell removal), with no special shucking
tool, the results were not terribly pleasing. When done right the chestnuts look like
little rat brains. Ours were a bit mangled and seemed to have some bad parts. So the next
day a special trip to a kitchen stuff store produced just the right nutcracker in which
the nut sits resting comfortably as you squeeze. The next batch came out great. The right
tool for the right job always makes the difference. We did this in advance of the big day
We went for a turkey breast for the second year in a row. A lot easier to deal with and
surpriseit cooks much quicker than the whole turkey per pound time estimates. The
extra chestnuts we used in a brussel sprouts recipe from Epicurious.com [Bon Appetit, Nov 1998, we've got the
paper version] with convincing enthusiastic feedback from a number of satisfied customers.
And our usual leek-garlic-yogurt unskinned-baked-mashed-potato dish. And a bunch of middle
eastern dishes that came with the in-laws. Way too much food. Not counting the tiramisu, french apple tart, pumpkin pumpkin pie and several middle eastern desserts that came
along too, plus a zucchini bread we never got to.
- veggie group
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed
- 8 stalks celery, food processed
- 3 T butter
- mushroom group
- 1.5 lb crimini, shitake, portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 3 T butter
- spice nut group
- 3 c veggie broth
- 2 c chestnuts, chopped
- 1 t salt
- 3/4 t pepper
- 2 t marjoram
- 1/2 t ground nutmeg
- bread group
- 1 1/2 12oz bags herbed seasoned bread stuffing
- 1 c fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 c veggie broth
- finishing group
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 c milk
- Saute the veggie group in its butter allotment until tender in a large nonstick pot.
- Meanwhile saute the mushroom group in its butter a few minutes to soften in another
- When the mushrooms are ready, mix into the veggie mixture and add the boiling veggie
broth and the rest of the spice nut group.
- Simmer a while as the liquid component matures with flavor from the various pot
- Meanwhile mix the parsley into the stuffing bread cubes and then mix in the allotted
- Finally assembly time. Mix in the veggie mushroom mush and then incorporate the beaten
eggs and then the milk.
- Spread out evenly in an 11x14 inch baking pan. One of those aluminum supermarket
throwaways will do (we wash and reuse ours).
- Cover with aluminum foil until ready to put in the oven. Our fridge is usually too full
with other stuff but this can be done the night before and refrigerated.
- Bake 45 minutes to an hour at 350° (turkey temperature), say 30 to 40 minutes covered,
the rest uncovered.
- Makes about 20 servings. Think about cutting this recipe back unless you really like
leftovers. The guests were happy.
- We repeated this recipe many Thanksgivings, and one such holiday
some leftover chestnuts led us to our favorite cream
soup which increased the need for recipe ready chestnuts, obligingly
supplied by the free market, even at a reasonable cost after the intervention
of the Trader Joe's eclectic food products store chain.