Thanksgiving for us Americans is such a time honored tradition, and I'd bet that most of you already know what will be on your table, and who will make what dish.
For my side of the family, there's always my grandmother's dressing (that's stuffing for those of you in other parts), there was until last year my great grandmother's green beans, a turkey prepared by my parents, sweet potato and broccoli casseroles by my aunt, and pies by Sarah Lee, with the occasional wild card dessert or bread thrown in by me. It's a true feast and honestly a day of unabashed gluttony.
What food traditions do you hold and look forward to each year?
I'd like to submit a new classic: Rachael Ray's Apple and Onion Stuffin' Muffins. I first made this recipe 8 years ago, for a staff Thanksgiving lunch at my first "professional" job. It was a total experiement and they were the guinea pigs. Thankfully it turned out great, and is pretty foolproof, which is good for a then novice like me. This is a good recipe for any skill level. I have since made these little guys 1-2 other times, and the latest was for my office building's Thanksgiving lunch today.
This recipe is easy, relatively quick, and can be made ahead of time. The ingredient list is not ridiculous and the flavors are close enough to standard to not rock the boat while being innovative enough to reinvigorate your dressing/stuffing routine.
The recipe title is also a link to the original recipe. I am posting as I made it. If you're more a visual learner, there's a video link near the top of the page that will allow you to see Rachael Ray making the stuffin' muffins (which is a concept that Sunny Anderson has adopted with vigor).
Apple and Onion Stuffin' Muffins
makes 12-24 muffins, depending on your scoop size and tin
2 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 stick butter, divided in half
1 bay leaf (original calls for fresh; I used dried)
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 med-lg onion, chopped
3 apples, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 tsp each dried marjoram, dried parsley, and dehydrated onion (or 2 Tb poultry seasoning)
8 cups stuffing mix (such as Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing)
2-3 cups chicken stock
Preheat an oven to 375 and butter the cups of 1-2 muffin pans. In a wide pot with sides (dutch oven, saute pot), heat oil and butter over medium to med-high heat. Add in bay leaf, celery, onion, and apple and season with salt, pepper, and other herbs/spices. Allow to cook and soften, approx 5-6 mins.
Add stuffing mix into the pan and stir. Moisten the entire pan with chicken broth, so that the bread and other ingredients are softened and moistened but not wet (not soupy).
Use an ice cream scoop or cup measure to scoop out stuffing and mound into the muffin tins. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until browned on top. Serve warm or at room temperature. These can be made ahead and reheated.
- Original recipe called for McIntosh apples, which I can rarely find around here. Use your favorite "cooking/baking" apple. I used gala, and they worked well.
- Original recipe also called for poultry seasoning, which I didn't have and didn't want to buy. I looked up a couple DIY recipes online and improvised using what I had on hand. Still good!
- I used approx 2 cups chicken broth.