Friday, November 23, 2018

On the MENU this week. Christmas Chestnut or Butternut Stuffing

We have adapted our Christmas stuffing recipe for you this year as, sometimes, it is impossible to find chestnuts in South Africa. They do add a lovely texture and flavour and Lynne thinks that by substituting some cubed butternut, you might get a similar result. To get the nutty flavour, she has added 50 g of roasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped. Butternut shines when a grating of nutmeg is added so try that too. If you want some colour, add some dried cranberries
50g bacon, finely chopped - ½ T canola oil – 1 onion, finely chopped –1 stick of celery, finely chopped – 50g butter - 100g fresh white breadcrumbs – 1 1T parsley, chopped – grated zest and juice of 1 lemon – 500g canned whole chestnuts or unsweetened chestnut puree (or 400g 1 or 2 cm cubed butternut, a ¼ teaspoon of grated nutmeg and 50 g of roasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped) - salt and pepper to taste – 1 jumbo egg – salt and freshly ground black pepper – optional, sweet sherry
Fry the bacon until crisp in the oil. Remove and crumble. Add the onions and celery to the pan and fry gently until they are softening. Mix all with the butter, breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon and chestnuts (or, if using, butternut, nutmeg and pecans). Season and add the beaten egg. Fry off a teaspoonful to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a small amount of sweet sherry. Oh hell, add a spoonful or two anyway for flavour. Put into a greased Pyrex dish and roast, covered, for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Sage Advice: It is not wise to put the stuffing into a bird and much better to cook it separately. If you must, then just stuff the neck cavity of a turkey. Why? Because cold stuffing will absorb all the raw juices of the bird and it may not cook properly, as heat has to penetrate the flesh and bones, so it can become a haven for any bacteria that might reside in the inside of the bird, allowing it to breed in the moist gentle heat. Now, if we haven’t put you off stuffing completely, try this one. It is delicious. And it goes well with Turkey, Goose, Chicken, Capon, pheasant and almost all other birds, but is perhaps a little rich for duck

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