Stove Top. These two words describe the stuffing we traditionally grew up making. Well, not me, my mom and aunts. Personally, I don’t know what it tastes like since I always refused to eat (sometimes it pays to be a picky eater).
My first encounter with homemade stuffing was when I met my husband 15 years ago. As I settled into round two of Thanksgiving dinner with him and his parents, he beamed with pride at the tray as he spooned some into a serving dish. Needless to say, I was very impressed. What man cooks a whole Thanksgiving meal for his parents, the whole thing from scratch too?
Over the years we’ve tweaked that original recipe, the biggest debate being sausage or meat-free. While I’m a full-on omnivore, I much prefer my stuffing of the vegetarian persuasion. I added finely chopped mushrooms to give it a “meaty” texture and threw in some fresh sage for a traditional flavor. Chopped pecans are a much easier alternative to chestnuts, and dried cherries lend a lovely aromatic note, making this a pretty tasty compromise for our Thanksgiving menu.
Brioche Stuffing with Dried Cherries & Pecans
Serves 8 to 10
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, finely minced
1 large carrot, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/2 cup dried cherries
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
4 cups cubed, stale challah or brioche (1/2-inch cube)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 large egg, lightly beaten