Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Oyster and Bean Stuffing
I'm not a huge stuffing person. I take the requisite spoonful at Thanksgiving, but rarely go back for seconds. Actually, I rarely go back for seconds of anything because there's pie coming up. With a terrible schedule at work that would prevent me from cooking anything time-consuming for five days, I decided to make a casserole to hold me until then.
This recipe doesn't have to be as involved as I made it. You can use canned beans and cut out two hours plus soaking time. They sell bread cubes for stuffing already dry and seasoned. If this didn't have eggs in it, you could assemble everything except the bread a day ahead and bake it later. I wouldn't do that the way it's written, but you could bake it ahead of time and reheat it in a 300º oven for 15 minutes.
While stuffing is traditionally a side dish, nutritionally this one can be a main-dish casserole. It's probably more balanced than macaroni and cheese. There's loads of protein, iron, and fiber, with carbs holding it together. It might actually be overkill to serve it with a turkey.
The bread choice in stuffing can be critical. Many people swear by cornbread and won't consider anything else. I went with the more delicate French loaf because of the oysters. If I had nixed the beans and doubled the oysters, I could have gone with cornbread or a heavy bread like rye.
1 loaf of the fat French bread, not a baguette
1 C diced onion
1/2 C diced celery
1/2 C diced carrot
2 Tb olive oil
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 8oz can oysters
*3 C low-sodiumchicken broth
1/4 tsp dry thyme
1/4 tsp dry sage
1/4 tsp dry rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
butter for greasing dish
1. The day before, cube the bread into 1" or smaller pieces. You should get roughly 16 cups. Leave out to get stale. If you're not using the oven, spread them out on a baking sheet and leave the oven door cracked. If cooking beans, soak overnight.
2. Day of, drain beans. Refill saucepan and simmer for 2 hours. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add mirepoix (celery, onion, and carrot) and sauté until softened. Add thyme, sage, rosemary, and mushrooms. Continue to cook down the mushrooms.
5. Get out a big bowl. Beat the eggs, then beat in the broth. Add the mixture from the skillet into a kind of stew. Start tossing in the bread a couple of big handfuls at a time until the flavor ingredients are distributed with the bread. Leave to sit a few minutes while you prepare the oven and dish.
Serves about 8
Difficulty rating :)