So it's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I am FAR from home, but the Canucks around me are throwing a dinner and asked me to prep the stuffing. I couldn't do my traditional stuffing because I can't get some of the ingredients here... so I had to get creative and I had a blast doing it!!
This first one has a flavour base of mushrooms, dill, onions, garlic and hot peppers. I wanted to do something a little spicy and fun. I tried to do lots of dill to balance out the pepper as the ones here are quite hot. I also threw in some thyme, salt and crushed red chillies. Then I added the bread crumbs, chicken stock and an egg to mix it before putting it in the oven.
This one might be a flavour favourite. I chopped up onions and apples (2 apples) and threw in some dried cranberries. I also used thyme, salt and a little pepper here, but the secret is a dash of sumac to bring that citrus flavour in. When I added the breadcrumbs, I used eggs and chicken stock again to moisten it all. At the end, I poured melted butter over the whole thing before throwing it in the oven.
I think this might be the one I am most proud of. At least one of the guests tonight will be vegetarian and I wanted her to be able to enjoy a really good, flavourful stuffing as well. So I decided to do a fruit and vegetable based stuffing. It could be a meal in itself with so much robust and hearty veggies: there is 1/3 of an eggplant, 1/2 a zuccini, 1 full onion, 1 cup or so of diced mushrooms, 1/4 cup of chopped dried appricots, 2 cups or so of quartered grapes and then I tossed in a bunch of pine nuts. To round out the flavours and bring out the best of them, I used a little curry powder and cumin with some salt. I tried to keep it simple but really fun. To moisten it (although with the veggies and fruits that I chose, it won't need much once it hits the heat of the oven), I used some melted butter. It smelled like heaven!!
Anyway, for those of you waiting to cook your big meal tomorrow or on Monday... maybe a less traditional stuffing is in order, or if you are American... you can get a jump on what you might like to do for November!