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 Does Your Holiday Stuffing Recipe Have The Right Stuff? 
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Post Does Your Holiday Stuffing Recipe Have The Right Stuff?
Does Your Holiday Stuffing Recipe Have The Right Stuff?
by: Chef Todd Mohr

I don’t think I’ve ever used a holiday stuffing recipe. That’s not to say I’ve never made a dressing for turkey, I’ve had to make it for 15,000 people! Imagine trying to follow a recipe for 15,000 people. Would it say “15,000 pinches of salt”?

I’ve been urging people to “cook like a chef at home” for years now. This is a perfect example what I mean. Cooking for 15,000 people would not allow me to go back and forth to a recipe book, examining each written line. Cooking like a chef means using basic methods, eye and taste to create outstanding results without a recipe.

There are 4 elements to any holiday stuffing recipe. Whether making a truckload or bowlful of stuffing for turkey, the method is exactly the same.

First, choose your “dry element”. This is usually white bread that has been dried until it’s rock-hard. However, you can choose to use cornbread, cracker meal, whole wheat or artisan breads, oyster crackers, saltines, or anything else that will absorb the flavors and liquids to come.

The second element is some type of rendered fat for saute. I prefer the flavor of butter, but bacon fat, giblets, oysters, or sausage work equally well.

Next, you can choose the vegetables you’d like to use for your newly created holiday stuffing recipe. Most of the time it’s mire poix (meer-pwah), the combination of onion, celery and carrots. Your creativity may move you to include jalapenos, garlic, or even apples and apricots for a new flavor.

Since we have so much dried bread or cracker meal as a base, we’ll need some liquid to bind the ingredients together. After a quick sauté of your vegetables, the pan should be deglazed with a flavorful liquid like chicken stock, milk, or cream.

The most important element is the “tea”. The seasonings you choose will create the flavor profile you desire. For poultry; thyme, rosemary, sage, and marjoram are my choices. You may decide to add heat with cayenne pepper, or give it an international feel with curry powder or turmeric.

It’s best to season VERY heavily when creating your holiday stuffing recipe. The object is to make an herbal “tea” with the vegetables, liquid and seasonings. It’s this “tea” that will be soaked up by the dry bread, giving you a distinct flavor profile. Don’t be afraid to add lots of seasoning.

It’s now a simple matter of pouring your “tea” over the dry ingredients and combining them. If your stuffing is still too dry, you can always add more milk, broth or cream for the desired texture.

Your holiday stuffing recipe doesn’t have to come from a cookbook. It needn’t be written on paper. You can create any dressing you’d like by following the 5 simple steps above. If you really love this method, you can go ahead and make it for 15,000 people. Or, just for two.

About The Author
Click Holiday Stuffing Recipe to see the complete video. Chef Todd Mohr has freed thousands of people from the frustration of written recipes with his online cooking classes. The Chef’s cooking DVD series “Burn Your Recipes” empowers people to cook with basic methods and the ingredients they desire.
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Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:44 am
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