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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stuff This: A Matzoh Stuffing

The recipes in my Passover arsenal are fascinating. Mainly because they're good enough to make all year round, though I hardly do. My brownies are probably the best I make all year round, though I've never tried to "un-Passover" them. Don't even get me started on Haroset or hard boiled eggs with salt water.

I feel that way about this stuffing. You could make it with bread and go traditional--it would be amazing. The recipe is more about the combining of perfect flavors that work together whether you're eating whole wheat matzoh or a fabulous artisanal sourdough loaf.

Something about the combination I used makes me feel like I'm eating something insanely decadent, though in truth this recipe is also really healthy--I mean, as far as stuffings go.

Cranberry, Chestnut, Fennel Stuffing

3 c unsalted chicken stock
1 c dried cranberries
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 carrot peeled and chopped
2 fennel bulbs, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 egg slightly beaten
About 8 whole wheat matzohs broken into medium sized (larger than bite-sized) pieces
2 c prepared chestnuts halved (they come in a jar)
2 T chopped fresh sage
1 T chopped fresh thyme
2 T chopped fresh flat parsley
salt and pepper
2 T reserved fennel frawns (tops) chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm stock until steam begins to rise 3-5 min.  
Remove from heat and add cranberries; set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil.
Add onion, fennel, carrot; sauté stirring occasionally until tender and translucent, 8-10 minutes. 
Add chopped parsley, sage, and thyme. 
Transfer to a bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, stir egg while slowly pouring in stock and cranberries (be careful stock is not too hot or egg will scramble!).  
Add matzoh and stir until well blended. Use your hands--trust me!
Let stand, stirring occasionally until stock is absorbed 6-8 min.  
Add vegetable mix, chestnuts, and fennel frawns.  
Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix well.  Transfer to prepared baking dish.
Bake until browned and crispy 45-50 min.  

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