It's countdown to Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Great food, good friends and family gathered around the table to give thanks for our bounty. I can't think of a nicer celebration. In my never ending quest to find a better way to get the holiday dinner on the table more efficiently, I've decided this year to bake my stuffing in muffin tins. No last minute fussing. Simply pop these out and onto a serving dish.
Start with cornbread, either homemade or store bought. Savory works best. I make my own using this recipe. You will need a 9" cast iron pan.
Makes 4-1/2 cups crumbs
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 450F
In a bowl, lightly mix the eggs and buttermilk. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil and stir well.
Heat the oil in the skillet. When hot, stir the oil into the batter, then pour the batter back into the skillet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until firm to the touch. Turn out onto a rack, cool, and make into crumbs for the stuffing using the food processor.
Yields about 21 muffins
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
6 T. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
4-1/2 cups cornbread crumbs
4 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage or 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375F
Generously butter 2 muffin tins.
Warm 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and soak the apricots in it until softened, 20-30 minutes.
Melt the butter in a medium size skillet and add the onions and celery. Sauté until softened and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cornbread crumbs with the bread crumbs. Add the cooked onions, celery and any melted butter in the pan. Season with salt, pepper and sage.
Add the soaked apricots and their soaking liquid and mix well.
Add the eggs and the remaining 1-1/2 cups of chicken stock. The stuffing should be quite wet.
Scoop into the buttered muffin tins.
Ready for the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Run a knife around the edges to make certain they will release. Turn out onto a serving dish and serve while warm.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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