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The non-stuffy stuffing

November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving is so full of great memories of loved ones hanging out together, eating and laughing. From when I was a child and my mom would cook five times the amount of food we needed to the days of my great friends being the “family” we spent Thanksgiving with to now when I cook with my two children and awesome wife. We all get in the kitchen together and have such a good time.

I love the holidays. I am one of those that can’t wait for the holiday music to start playing everywhere and seeing Starbucks post its overly sweet holiday coffee drinks. There is just a good vibe in the air.

With that said the holiday menu can be a little dull with the same old stuff. I love to take it up a notch with a little spice smuggling action. I created this recipe with that idea in mind. The pancetta, almonds and chorizo each give off their own flavorful oil as they roast together. The bacon gets brown, the almonds get toasted and the chorizo melts into its own sauce. The whole caraway seeds add their floral, earthy perfume and are a natural with any bread based dish. The smoked paprika works its fire-roasted pepper magic as it always does. It gives the dish a brick red hue and smoky flavor. The bread gets moist from the chicken stock but the edges stay crisp by cooking it in the oven uncovered. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy and may I be the first to say “Happy Holidays”. I hope you have a great one full of tasty food.

Stuffing with Chorizo and toasted almonds
1 each sourdough baguette
1/3 cup pancetta, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, skinned, slivered
1/3 cup chorizo sausage, chopped.
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 each egg yolks
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon caraway seed
2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
Cut or tear the baguette into 1″cubes. Let the bread dry out in an uncovered bowl for 12-24 hours.
If you are cooking the stuffing right away heat the oven to 400.
Chop the pancetta or bacon into small pieces.
In a large bowl combine the egg yolks, paprika and salt. Set aside

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the bacon until it begins to brown.
Add the almonds and chorizo. Stir occasionally and continue cooking until all is evenly golden. Add the whole caraway seeds and cook one minute more to toast the seeds. Turn off the heat and allow to cool briefly. Stir into egg mixture.

In the same pan melt the butter over medium heat and add the bread cubes. Toss to evenly coat and cook until slightly golden. Add bread to egg mixture. Transfer entire mixture to a baking dish large enough so that the stuffing will be in one even layer. If you are ready to cook the stuffing pour the chicken stock over the mixture. Cook for 40 minutes uncovered until liquid is absorbed. The top edges should be crispy. Serve.

If you are making this ahead of time you can wait to add the liquid. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. Then add the chicken stock.

Recipe Notes
Bacon is a perfectly good substitute for the pancetta.
The chorizo – you can use dry or fresh.
Any rustic, porous bread with a nice crust will work.

Heat up a scoop of the leftover in a small sauté pan. Put it on a plate. Use the same pan to fry and egg and place it on top.

Serves: 8.  Preparation Time is 20 minutes.  Inactive Preparation Time is 12:00.  Cooking Time is 50 minutes.

Eat Well, Enjoy life, Be happy

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2009 9:07 am

    Yum! This sounds amazing. I, too, love the holiday season! I’ve been searching the net for a new recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner and I think I’m going to use this as my “new” thing. Thanks for sharing & I’m a big fan!! 🙂

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 20, 2009 9:33 am

      Thank you dee! Enjoy and let me know how it turns out. have a great holiday season!

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