chestnut mushroom stuffing

We like chestnut stuffing. We like mushroom stuffing. So why not do both at once by combining recipes? Which is precisely what we did for our last Thanksgiving of the millennium. With four cooks in the kitchen the process was not exactly under control, but the dr bob cooking team is more into anarchy than control anyway.

On our trial chestnut roasting and shucking (shell removal), with no special shucking tool, the results were not terribly pleasing. When done right the chestnuts look like little rat brains. Ours were a bit mangled and seemed to have some bad parts. So the next day a special trip to a kitchen stuff store produced just the right nutcracker in which the nut sits resting comfortably as you squeeze. The next batch came out great. The right tool for the right job always makes the difference. We did this in advance of the big day of course.

We went for a turkey breast for the second year in a row. A lot easier to deal with and surprise—it cooks much quicker than the whole turkey per pound time estimates. The extra chestnuts we used in a brussel sprouts recipe from Epicurious.com [Bon Appetit, Nov 1998, we've got the paper version] with convincing enthusiastic feedback from a number of satisfied customers. And our usual leek-garlic-yogurt unskinned-baked-mashed-potato dish. And a bunch of middle eastern dishes that came with the in-laws. Way too much food. Not counting the tiramisu, french apple tart, pumpkin pumpkin pie and several middle eastern desserts that came along too, plus a zucchini bread we never got to.

ingredients

veggie group
1 leek, chopped
2 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, pressed
8 stalks celery, food processed
3 T butter
mushroom group
1.5 lb crimini, shitake, portobello mushrooms, chopped
3 T butter
spice nut group
3 c veggie broth
2 c chestnuts, chopped
1 t salt
3/4 t pepper
2 t marjoram
1/2 t ground nutmeg
bread group
1 1/2 12oz bags herbed seasoned bread stuffing
1 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 c veggie broth
finishing group
3 eggs, beaten
1 c milk

instructions

  1. Saute the veggie group in its butter allotment until tender in a large nonstick pot.
  2. Meanwhile saute the mushroom group in its butter a few minutes to soften in another nonstick pot.
  3. When the mushrooms are ready, mix into the veggie mixture and add the boiling veggie broth and the rest of the spice nut group.
  4. Simmer a while as the liquid component matures with flavor from the various pot constituents.
  5. Meanwhile mix the parsley into the stuffing bread cubes and then mix in the allotted veggie broth.
  6. Finally assembly time. Mix in the veggie mushroom mush and then incorporate the beaten eggs and then the milk.
  7. Spread out evenly in an 11x14 inch baking pan. One of those aluminum supermarket throwaways will do (we wash and reuse ours).
  8. Cover with aluminum foil until ready to put in the oven. Our fridge is usually too full with other stuff but this can be done the night before and refrigerated.
  9. Bake 45 minutes to an hour at 350 (turkey temperature), say 30 to 40 minutes covered, the rest uncovered.

notes

  1. Makes about 20 servings. Think about cutting this recipe back unless you really like leftovers. The guests were happy.
  2. We  repeated this recipe many Thanksgivings, and one such holiday some leftover chestnuts led us to our favorite cream soup which increased the need for recipe ready chestnuts, obligingly supplied by the free market, even at a reasonable cost after the intervention of the Trader Joe's eclectic food products store chain.
chsmshst.htm: 19-nov-2005 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]