MAIN DISHES STUFFING

HOLIDAY STUFFING CASSEROLE

HOLIDAY STUFFING CASSEROLE

Pineapple sage stuffing with almonds, layered with mashed potatoes and yams, topped with a coriander and onion gravy, and pineapple mustard-mint fresh cranberry sauce. Baked till steamy hot! Who knew stuffing could be elegant?

Makes 12 servings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mashed Potatoes and Yams:

5 med.-lg. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 lg. yam, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

salt

2 T. extra virgin olive oil or margarine

1 T. brown sugar

freshly ground black pepper

nutmeg

salt to taste

Place potatoes and yams in lg. saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches. Salt water. Bring to a soft boil, partially cover and cook till fork-tender. Partially covering the pot makes them cook faster.

Drain over another pot and save out 5 cups of potato liquid for gravy.

Return potatoes to pot, or bowl, and mash till lump-free. Add olive oil or margarine, brown sugar, lots of freshly ground black pepper, a dash of nutmeg, then whip by hand with potato masher till smooth. Salt to taste and set aside. These potatoes won’t need any additional liquid.

Stuffing:

½ c. extra virgin olive oil

1 c. diced celery; save the odd ends of celery plus leaves for the gravy

½ c. diced yellow onion

1 t. sea salt

fresh cracked pepper

1 c. slivered almonds (not sliced)

1 sm. can pineapple rings; drain, save juice, then stack rings and cut into tiny wedges

¼ c. brown sugar

reserved pineapple juice

14 oz. can vegetable broth

2 t. dried rubbed sage

2 t. ground coriander

2 t. powdered ginger

1 t. onion powder

1 t. additional sea salt

¼ t. ground allspice

14 oz. pkg. Pepperidge Farms Crumb Stuffing Mix

In extra large skillet, over medium-high heat, combine oil, celery, onion, salt and black pepper. Saute till wilted. Add remaining ingredients, except stuffing crumbs.

Stir well, heat to boiling, then add crumbs all at once to skillet. Stir well to moisten all crumbs. If you want it a little moister, add a couple tablespoons of water. Mix and mash till you achieve the consistency you like. Turn off heat.

Gravy:

5 c. water saved from boiling the potatoes and yams

reserved outer leaves of cabbage from roasted vegetables, plus core, cut into sm. pieces

5-7 baby carrots reserved from roasted vegetables, diced

about 1 cup chopped celery and leaves from pieces of celery you wouldn’t otherwise use; wash

1-2 sm. diced yellow onions

1 t. dried rosemary needles

1 t. dried tarragon

1 t. onion powder

Combine potato water, cabbage, carrot, celery, onion, rosemary, tarragon and onion powder in saucepan. Partially cover and boil till veggies soften. Mash a little with potato masher in the pan, now and then, while they cook.

When very soft turn heat off, mash the veggies again in the pan with the water, then strain through a wire mesh strainer into another saucepan.

Add to the broth:

2 t. onion powder

1 t. dried rubbed sage

½ t. mild paprika

½ t. liquid smoke

1 t. dried tarragon

1/8 t. ground allspice

1 t. ground coriander

2 T. ketchup

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. dark brown sugar

fresh cracked black pepper

salt to taste

Stir well, and bring to soft boil.

Mix 3 T. cornstarch with ½ c. water in small cup till dissolved

Add liquid cornstarch to boiling broth, stirring continuously till thickened. Continue to cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Salt to taste and set aside. I used ½ t. sea salt.

Pineapple Mint Cranberry Sauce

14 oz. pkg. fresh cranberries, washed and drained

1 c. water

½ c. light brown sugar

¼ c. white sugar

1 sm. can pineapple rings, including liquid, cut into tiny triangles/wedges

¼ t. ground allspice

1 t. powdered ginger

2 T. prepared yellow mustard

1 t. finely crushed dried mint

dash salt

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a soft boil and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator till it reaches room temperature.

Notes: The mustard and mint make this cranberry sauce special!

Assembling Casserole:

Use a 9 x 13 inch baking dish that is 2 inches deep

Spoon stuffing evenly into baking dish.

Spoon mashed potatoes and yams evenly over the stuffing. Smooth it over with a spatula.

Now, make 3 rows of indentations using the back of a large, smooth spoon, across the casserole. Not too deep, about ¼ inch.

Spoon gravy equally over the potatoes, use it all. Don’t smooth it with a spoon, it will smooth itself.

Now, spoon cranberry sauce equally over the gravy. Don’t smooth it, otherwise it will mix with the gravy instead of setting on top of it. Use all of it. Let set for a couple of hours at room temperature.

When ready to bake, place in preheated 400 degree oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 hour or till very hot and steamy throughout.

If you’re baking the roasted vegetables and the stuffing casserole at the same time, place both in the oven, one on top and one on the bottom, then 30 minutes into the baking time, switch the top one to the bottom, and the bottom one to the top, to assure more even cooking. Because you’ll be baking both at once, allow for a little longer baking time.

After removing stuffing casserole from oven, let set 5 minutes before cutting. Don’t wait too long, otherwise it will cool too much. Cut into equal squares and lift out like lasagna. Looks beautiful with the layers. Wonderful textures and flavors. This could be served in the most prestigious restaurant in the world.

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