Thinking Thanksgiving: Stuffing

Take that box of stuffing to the next level

The boxed stuffing mixes are a great and easy way to create delicious imaginative side dishes with just a few personalized additions

1/2 C chopped carrots  
1/2 C chopped celery
1 C chopped onion      ( TJ sells this mixture already cut up and ready to go)
1 T oil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp pepper
4C chicken or turkey stock
1 egg

Sauté the veggies in the oil until softened in a medium sized pan.  Add the seasonings and the stock and bring to a boil. 

Check the stuffing package and see how much sodium is in a serving size. If it is a rediculous amount, you may only want to use part of the seasoning packet which you will add to the stock.  Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and mix. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Mix again with the egg.  Place in a oiled casserole and bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown another 10 minutes or so until browned and crispy.

Optional Additions:

10 oz sliced crimini mushrooms - Sauté with the onion mixture

1-2 apples or pears, peeled, cored and diced and/or 1/2 - 1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 - 1 C toasted nuts or chestnuts

1/2 - 1 pt Oysters, cut the  big ones in half and add to the stuffing with the liquor. Add another 1/2 tsp thyme.  The mushrooms are a good with the oysters

1/4 - 1/2 lb cooked sausage - I sometimes make little sausage meatballs and add to the stuffing or make patties and cut into chunks.  The apples, mushrooms are good with the sausage.

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