Monday, November 24, 2014

Apple, Mushroom, and Pecan Cornbread Stuffing

I have always been a big fan of Thanksgiving. For me, there is nothing better than being gathered around a beautifully decorated with table with family, eating delicious food and celebrating all that we are thankful for.

I am a huge stickler for tradition when it comes to holidays, especially concerning the dishes we prepare every year. Every Thanksgiving, for as long as I can remember, we have always made the exact same plain stuffing. No special add-ins. Just good ol' plain stuffing with lots of homemade gravy on top. And low and behold, year after year our family's plain stuffing remains my favorite.

This year, however, I wanted to branch out from tradition and try something very different from our usual routine. I thought I would try out my improvised recipe a little early for a few colleagues of mine today...and it was a big HIT!  I am quite pleased with how it turned out and I think you'll enjoy it too.

I have no doubts that my family will enjoy bucking tradition this year after they get a taste of this Apple & Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing.

This stuffing (like most everything I cook) is a mixture of few different recipes and sources. I gleamed a lot of inspiration from this amazing recipe, combined with the recipe on the back of this box:

While also deciding to mix in about two thirds of this box:

While I like to try to make all of my dishes from scratch, sometimes you just gotta mix and match when time doesn't afford for you to cook, slice, and dice your own homemade white bread & cornbread.

(*Feel free to modify according to your taste preferences).

1 small pack of white mushrooms
2 Granny Smith apples
1 brown onion
32oz turkey broth (or chicken broth)
1/3 cup pecans
2 cups white wine 
1 teaspoon of salt 
Olive oil
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg
1 box of Trader Joe's Cornbread Stuffing Mix
2/3 box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons


Start off by dicing up one small pack of white mushrooms and two (peeled) Granny Smith apples.

Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil in a large skillet. Over medium heat, saute the mushrooms until they are golden brown. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt (or to your taste preference).

Slice one brown onion into rings. Throw the onion wrings into the sauteed mushrooms and saute together for a few minutes until the onions are soft and browned.

In a separate bowl, mix the diced apples with a drizzle of olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Add a dash of nutmeg and stir together.

Add the diced & seasoned apples into the pan with the sauteed mushrooms and apples. 

Add an additional two tablespoons of brown sugar to caramelize the mushrooms, apples, and onions. Sprinkle in a generous portion of chopped pecans (to taste).

Slice four tablespoons of butter and add to the sauteed mixture.

Add one cup of white wine and stir thoroughly, allowing the mixture to be fulled coated with liquid. 

Add 32 ounces of either turkey broth or chicken broth to the stuffing. Stir well. Then, add one additional cup of white wine.

Add the spice packet from the Trader Joe's stuffing mix to the pan, stirring thoroughly.

Grease a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. In the casserole dish, mix together the bread crumbs from the Trader Joe's stuffing mix, along with 2/3 of the box of Trader Joe's pumpkin cornbread croutons.

Once tossed together, pour all of the breading/croutons into the saucepan with the liquid and sauteed goodies. Toss well so that all of the breading is throughout coated. Pour the entire saucepan into the greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered. Remove the cover for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the stuffing to get crisp on top.

Remove from the oven. Serve. Enjoy!

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving recipes that you would recommend? What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? For those of you abroad, what Thanksgiving dish would you most like to try? I'd love to hear from you!

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