Friday, December 23, 2016

Vegetable and Fruit Bread Stuffing
1-1/2 lb. country-style whole grain bread, cut into ¼-inch cubes (about
  10 cups)
1–1/2sticks unsalted butter
1 lb. yellow onions, peeled and copped
2C celery, chopped
1 medium leek (white part only), washed and thinly sliced
1 lb. Granny Smith or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 – 3 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1-1/2C walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
4 oz. dried tart cherries or cranberries
4 oz. dried plums or apricots, diced
1/4C Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1/4C sage leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 – 3C chicken stock

Put the bread on a cookie sheet and toast in a 275F oven, turning occasionally, until crisp, 15 to 30 minutes.  Place in a large bowl.  Increase oven temperature to 350F.  Heat olive oil in a sauté pan, add the mushrooms and cook until crisp and tender.  Add to the bread.   Melt one stick butter in the same pan.  Add the onions, celery, leek, and garlic and until beginning to color. Add apples, salt and pepper to taste and sauté until tender, adding more butter as needed.  Toss into the bread mixture along with 1-1/2 cups of the stock, dried fruits, walnuts and fresh herbs, tossing until the liquid is absorbed, adding more as necessary.  Transfer to a buttered baking dish and bake until hot.  Dot with the remaining butter and bake until top is crisp, about 10 minutes.
MAKES:  10 – 12 servings