SWEET RED PEPPER AND FENNEL STUFFING I
A sweet red pepper and onion French bread stuffing with fennel and thyme, moistened with juice of fresh orange!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 lg. oval loaf French bread, unsliced, preferably 1 day old
2 t. ground fennel seed
2 t. poultry seasoning
½ t. dried thyme
1-1/2 t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
1 stick margarine
2 heaping c. diced, fresh sweet red pepper, 3/8 inch squares
1 lg. sweet onion, diced into 3/8 inch squares
½ c. fresh squeezed orange juice, plus additional if needed
Using the large holes of a vegetable grater, shred bread into a large mixing bowl using firm pressure and long strokes. Bread should not be little gratings, but large shreds.
Add to the bread, the fennel, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss to distribute evenly.
In large skillet, over medium heat, melt margarine.
Add red pepper and onion, salt and pepper, then sauté till wilted, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Add the orange juice; stir well.
Next, add the breadcrumbs, all at once, to the skillet. Stir and fold till every crumb is moistened. Do not mash, however. If you need a little more liquid, then add additional orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, to moisten crumbs.
Transfer to a 1-1/2 quart deep oven-proof dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Notes: Please do not omit fennel; it is what makes this stuffing unique.
When placing stuffing into baking dish always loosely pack; don’t pat it down firm. This allows for more even cooking throughout.