Thursday, May 5, 2011

Día Festivo

Un tazón se ofrece rellenos
Solamente en tiempos amenos
Que yo siempre les hallo--
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
¿Tradiciones? Problemas ajenos.

O, a bowl offers stuffing's nutritions
Just in special-occasion conditions
Which I often purvey--
Happy fifth day of May!
Someone else can take care of traditions.

It's true -- stuffing is a food reserved for special occasions.
Also true -- every day is a special occasion if you try hard enough.
And this week is particularly rife with holidays -- Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, (Gotta Get Down On) Friday….

Yes, I realize Cinco de Mayo is usually an occasion for Mexican food.  But doesn't $2 Tacos every Monday night sort of take the exclusivity out of it?  Plus, what's wrong with a break from tradition?  My parents, after all, usually serve Chinese food on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And what better way to shed love and appreciation on the woman who raised you than with a soggy casserole dish full of stale bread and veggies?

Kidding aside, this soggy casserole dish is full of win.  When Albert came over for Thanksgiving this year, his only request was for a nice, traditional holiday stuffing.  No fusion twists, no cranberry-crème fraiche atrocities.  So we collected the most homey ingredients we could find, made space between the Szechuan green beans and soy-garlic duck, and served up a special-occasion stuffing I now crave constantly.

Good thing Friday's coming up.

Special-Occasion Stuffing
adapted from

  • 1 loaf sliced white bread (the cheaper, the better)
  • 1 onion
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 12 oz (1.5 sticks) butter*
  • 1 cup free-range chicken broth*
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
*can substitute Earth Balance and vegetable broth for vegan stuffing


Take the bread out of the package and let sit on an uncovered plate overnight.

Dice the onions.

Chop the celery.

Mince the garlic.

Chop the walnuts.

When the bread is nice and slightly stale, cut it into cubes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a large casserole dish.

In a large pan (or wok, in my case), melt the remaining butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft.

Stir in the walnuts, salt, and pepper.

Add the bread and parsley, and stir well to cover.  Pour over the chicken broth and stir some more.

Transfer to the casserole dish.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until savory and irresistible.

Sprinkle with some fresh parsley and serve.  (Serves 6-8.)

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