There are several foods that fall into the “Even bad ___ is good ___.” My small list includes pizza, french fries, nachos, gyros, and stuffing!
Boxed Stove Top Stuffing, corn bread stuffing, and homemade stuffing are all delicious. Fortunately, this stuffing is very good and is not just a Thanksgiving food; it’s an anytime dish. At least, it should be. My Godmother makes one of my favorite versions. She seasons stuffing with sage, thyme, and flavorful pieces of kielbasa. This is my take on her recipe.
Growing-up, I remember watching my grandma bake stuffing inside the bird. It tasted delicious and we never got ill. Baking stuffing in its own pan, though, is really easy and results in a delightfully crisp top. This version combines white bread and leftover corn bread that I thawed and toasted in the oven. Homemade stuffing is the perfect opportunity to use up any stale bread or crust ends, in addition to any bread hanging out in your freezer. Of course, you can use whatever bread you enjoy.
Serve it with your next holiday meal, or heat up a small bowl for lunch. There’s really no wrong time to eat stuffing.
5 cups toasted bread. I used a mixture of homemade cornbread (crumbled) and white bread.
Butter and/or olive oil (about 2/3 stick)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery (can use more or less).
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon + pinch of dried thyme
Stock (chicken or vegetable)
A few scallions, finely sliced.
Black pepper (I like a lot).
Sweet Hungarian paprika, a good sprinkle
Salt, to taste. Start with a little if your stock is already salty.
1 – 1 1/2 cups of kielbasa, cut into small pieces. If your sausage has thick skin, can remove.
- To toast bread: Heat oven to 350 °F. Crumble cornbread into small pieces and toast until dry and crispy. Tear white bread into small pieces and toast until crisp. Set a timer so it doesn’t burn.
- Heat butter in pan. Saute celery and onions until tender, adding a touch of salt and some black pepper. Set aside to cool briefly.
- In a large bowl, toss crumbled bread, celery and onion mixture, herbs, scallions, and a good sprinkle of paprika.
- Moisten the bread mixture with stock. Pour a little bit in at a time and stir. Stop adding stock when you like the texture of the stuffing.
- Taste the uncooked stuffing. Add more salt, pepper, and seasoning as desired.
- Spread stuffing in a small, greased pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until heated through and the flavors meld.
- Uncover pan and finish baking until the top of the stuffing is crispy and golden brown.