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Delicious Thanksgiving dressing. November 22, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. I’ll admit it: My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the dressing. I’m a vegetarian, so we don’t call it stuffing, since we’re not stuffing anything. And I’ve always loved mine crunchy anyway, so even as a child, I didn’t eat the stuffing inside the turkey, but rather the dressing my beloved mama baked separately just for me. Same recipe, different cooking style.

As an adult, I’ve strayed from Mama’s traditional recipe for dressing. I wanted something so luscious that it could stand on its own, something that could be the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, not just an also-ran side dish. I think my Amazing Cranberry Dressing fits the bill. Plus, it keeps well and reheats beautifully, so you can make it ahead and reheat it on Thanksgiving—if there’s any left by then! See what you think:

               Silence’s Amazing Cranberry Dressing

1 bag Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing

1 to 1 1/2 sticks butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup dried cranberries (aka craisins)

1 cup pecan pieces

1 to 2 cups diced sweet onion, to taste

1 to 2 cups minced button mushrooms, to taste

1 teaspoon each dried thyme, marjoram, rosemary and sage

1 tablespoon each dried basil, oregano, garam masala, Trocomare or salt (we like RealSalt) and cracked black pepper

2 1/2 cups veggie stock (any boxed brand is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. (Use 1 1/2 sticks if you don’t plan on pouring turkey drippings over the dressing, 1 stick if you do.) Add olive oil, diced onion, herbs, and spices. When onion has clarified, add mushrooms. When mushrooms have cooked down, add cranberries and pecan pieces. Add veggie stock. Turn off heat and gently fold in Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing.

Spoon mixture into a large (9 x 13″) rectangular oven-proof dish or two 8 x 8″ square oven-proof dishes. Bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour, until the top is crunchy but not burned and the interior is succulent. Cover with aluminum foil until served. Serves 8-10. Leftovers reheat well in a toaster oven or oven set at 250 to 300 degrees F until warmed through. (Don’t reheat in a microwave or the dressing will get mushy.) 

That’s all there is to making the best dressing this side of Heaven! Try it and see if you don’t agree. And if you have a favorite recipe for dressing/stuffing, please share it with us!

           ‘Til next time,

                       Silence

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