Holiday Side Dishes – Homemade Stuffing (Part 1)

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,796
    Chef Arra Lawson from Addie’s Restaurant demonstrates the first part of how to make homemade stuffing.

    Chef Verra: Hi, welcome. I am Chef Verra of Addy's restaurant. Today we are featuring traditional side dishes for your holiday season and what we have for you today is warm cornbread stuffing with wild mushrooms.

    To get it started, first you'll need to have several ingredients. Let's say, a nice medium pie pan worth of cornbread. Maybe its left over from the day before, couple of days before. You want to take that out, cut it into nice little cubes, pop it into oven and let it dry out. A low temperature of about 200 degrees for about 15 minutes should be sufficient. If you have any other left over bread, here is a nice tip so that you can use things that you may have in the fridge. Some white bread, maybe some bread from the bakery for Fougasse, this is what this is. You can use baguettes. Whatever bread is what you like. Hollow, they can even have a savory flavor to them if you like that as well.

    Now, we move on to the wild mushrooms. Today's wild mushrooms are we using Crimini, which some refer to as Baby Portobello. Nice, has sort of a meedy texture, almost reminiscent of somewhat of a bee flue but not too strong. You really like those. This is really good for the base. They are actually pretty easy to find in your local markets as well as not that expensive either. This is a little different type of wild mushroom, found lots in the Orient the pacific. We actually get these organically grown in Oregon. Really nice mushrooms. It's a bit more expensive but really worth it, if you want to make a nice impression on your guests. We are also going to need about one cup of diced carrots, same with diced celery and a same with diced onions. For this dish, you need to have one hand of some finely chopped garlic as well as some dried oregano from your pantry. Here we have about two table spoons worth and we will only probably need about half of that for this particular dish. You need some diced bacon whatever flavor that you prefer. Because it is a mushroom dish, I am using apple with smoked bacon would be fine. If you were using for it since some left over turkey and you want to use maple bacon that would be fine because the flavors complement each other quite nice. You need a little butter, always salt and pepper because we season everything to taste. And a little bit of oil to cook in your pan. Also, you can have your turkey sauce or turkey stock that is left over to use it in this dish as well in order to incorporate a liquid into your cornbread stuffing. So, these are the ingredients you need for today's dish as well as always you need a few tools. Today, we will be using a chef's knife and a spoon. Those are the things you need in addition to your iron skillet that we are using to make your cornbread stuffing today. Lets begin. First start with adding oil to our pan. Let that warm up. So, we are going to start by now adding the ingredients needed to get the stuffing going. You are going to need to start to hold some carrots. And I always start with carrots because carrots take a little bit longer. They are cooked with some of the other veg needed in this particular recipe. So, you want to get a good amount of carrots, and here again this is about a cup of carrots. A good rule of thumb is always use equal parts of these particular veg. We call this a trinity; veg, carrots, celery and onions. So, anytime you use a trinity, just use an equal amount to get a nice flavor to your dish. So, here is our celery. Everything is nice and stir again. Add some onions. All chopped. This is what we call small dice, about a quarter inch each. One little tip I will give you, so that this doesn't burn and catch color. You need to do two things. I started off with olive oil in the pan. You can also put little bit of butter because, it gives a really good flavor, will not burn, will not burn as fast at least. And another little secret tip I will give you. When you have onions in a dish, you know how they make you tear up. If you add a little bit of salt, they are going to release that little bit of water that is inside them that is creating that tearing sensation. Now you will not tear while cooking your onions. That was one. Secondly, that liquid that comes out will keep your pan from having so much oil in it. That is cooking so fast and so hot that it will actually burn but actually cool the dish off a little bit and actually make everything melt really nice and slow, give you a nice bounced flavor all throughout your dish. That is just a little secret, something I learned over the years of cooking.

    You want to add just a little bit of garlic. To that one cup of each, I am going to add about a half-a-teaspoon of garlic. Nice, medium-high flame. Some oregano, here, we have about two tablespoons oregano for this dish and well use half of that. Really here its trying to sizzle now. You hear that bubbling going on. That is just the sound you want to really hear, you really want to get to. Just to know when things are about where you want them to be with this particular dish. Your carrots are starting to get soft, your onions are starting to get nice and translucent. You can start to see really all the way through the onion because all that bright white is almost gone into a more translucent dull white. That is what you are looking for. It means nice and after sugars in your dish is coming out, that is going to have a very, very good taste of dish here. Again, salt and pepper always in everything, we want to taste just a little bit, not too much to begin with. Because you are adding bacon to this dish and you are going to come back at the end and adjust your flavor there. Well, just a little bit in the beginning helps in get everything nice and balanced in your seasoning. Here, we are now at about a half cup of that bacon. Let that cook all the way through. So, coming up next, we show you how to finish the stuffing.