Saturday, September 20, 2008

Italian Sun Dried Tomato Bread Stuffing

One of the best ways to use stale bread is to make stuffing. Usually, I make it with regular white bread, but in this case, I needed to use up a loaf of sun dried tomato bread. I figured, why not? It's not exactly rocket science. I just made it as I normally would, and then added some Italian flavors to it. I came up with a delicious stuffing that has a decidedly Italian flair. Perfect! Now, don't hold me to the amounts. I kind of did "a little of this and a little of that". Whenever I used to ask my Mom how much of something to add to a recipe, she'd say "Til it's enough." So, if any of my amounts aren't right, then by all means, add more "Til it's enough!"

1 big loaf sun dried tomato bread
1 stick butter
a few glugs of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 or 6 ribs of celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
dried thyme or poultry seasoning
a few sprigs flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped
Italian seasoning
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
a few splashes of milk or chicken stock

Cut the bread into into cubes. Place cubes in large mixing bowl. Set aside. In a large saute pan, melt butter and add olive oil. Add celery, onions, and garlic. Saute over medium heat until tender. Add a few shakes of thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Remove from pan and add to mixing bowl. Give it a good stir so that the bread absorbs the butter and oil, which have now been infused with the herbs and spices. Add a few splashes of milk or chicken stock until you've reached the desired moistness. Using your impeccably clean hands, squish the bread until it's mixed thoroughly. Pour it into a buttered casserole dish. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with a little more freshly chopped parsley. Bake at 350F for about 20-30 minutes.

Use whatever bread you have on hand. Any kind of herb bread or garlic and tomato bread is fine. Oh, and about the amounts...I like a very spicy very wet stuffing. So, I usually add LOTS of poultry seasoning and lots of chicken stock. This is the part I was talking about where you "add it until it's enough". If you don't have chicken stock or milk you can use water and a little granulated chicken bouillon. If you'd like to take it a step further, you can add Italian sausage, either mild or hot, whichever you like. Just remove it from its casing, brown it in a pan, then add it to the mixing bowl with everything else. You could even add some of the sausage drippings instead of olive oil. That would give it an extra sausagy flavor. Is that a word? "sausagy?" hehehe

No comments: