Friday, November 15, 2013

Welcome, Aztec Readers!

If you've come to my blog after reading my Thanksgiving guide in the Aztec Calendar, welcome!  
(Or should I say, ¡Bienvenidos!)  
I really hope you enjoyed the information.  
(Click here to download it!)

The Thanksgiving Day Meal!
Are you looking for more recipes?  Please check out previous blog posts for my fantastic gravy recipe, as well as some ideas for leftovers

Me with my Turkey!
If you're interested in some information about Mercado de San Juan, please check out this blog post.

Need information on baking at altitude? Check out my Baking at Altitude post and More Details on Baking at Altitude.

Finally, below is the stuffing recipe that was included in the guide.  As always, please email me or leave a comment if you have any questions, ideas or responses!

Traditional Bread Stuffing 
Serves 6-8

"Stuffing" is traditionally the term used for bread stuffing that you put inside your turkey while it bakes, while "dressing" is traditionally the term used for bread stuffing baked outside of the bird.  Old habits die hard, though, so I refer to it all as stuffing.  I do not recommend putting this stuffing into the bird while it cooks as that is generally considered unsafe, given that it is difficult for the stuffing (which will have raw turkey juices incorporated) to reach the appropriate temperature (165 degrees F) by the time the turkey reaches the appropriate temperature and needs to be taken out of the oven.  

2 onions, small diced (or processed in the food processor)
4 stalks celery, including some leaves, small diced (or processed in the food processor)
1 stick of butter (8 Tbsp)
1-2 Tbsp bacon grease (can be rendered from cooking about 1/4 lb bacon)
1 1/2 lb (24 oz) cubes of bread or extremely coarse bread crumbs, based on your preference (either from a box/bag, like Pepperidge Farm brand, or made yourself from loaf French bread)
5 Tbsp dried sage
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 C butter (4 Tbsp)
1/4 C chicken broth (either homemade or store-bought)
4 chicken bouillon cubes
Kosher Salt, if needed

Dice or process the onions and celery.  Melt bacon grease and 1 stick butter in a large sauté pan, then add vegetables and sauté until tender.  (These tasks can be done ahead of time and the cooked vegetables can be stored in the fridge.)

If using fresh bread, cut into desired size (some people like large chunks of bread in their stuffing while others prefer extremely course bread crumbs) and allow to dry overnight or bake in a 350 degree F oven until crispy.

When ready to assemble dish, in a large bowl mix dried bread with vegetables (they do not need to be reheated).  Add sage and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, heat 1/4 C butter together with chicken broth and 4 chicken bouillon cubes.  Whisk to make sure all the bouillon dissolves.  (Using bouillon cubes instead of more chicken broth allows you to have a concentrated flavor without a lot of liquid.)  Mix butter/chicken broth mixture into bread mixture.  It should not be too wet; add more bread crumbs if needed. 

Transfer to an oven safe casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.  Serve hot.