wild mushroom stuffing/dressing

Food & Wine Magazine, November 1996, p.126 [Stuffing if it goes in the bird, dressing if it stays out]

With the increasing trendiness and subsequent availability of unusual mushrooms in the nineties [in the USA, land of choice (consumer and otherwise)], it was only a matter of time before some food magazine hit us with a stuffing recipe like this one. Always on the lookout for new ideas in this department, our food radar is on full alert status when November issues hit the stores. Big roasted turkeys on the cover are a good tip-off, but more subtle seasonal icons are also effective in grabbing the consumer's attention. At least this consumer.

Only a few modifications here. Our romance of the decade with leeks forced its unrequested appearance here and although it doesn't make sense to have qualms about chicken broth while ingesting lethal amounts of poultry and fat laden gravy and accessories, always replacing chicken/beef broth by veggie broth is a veggie commitment we stick to. And heavy cream always trips our fat conscience so in an attempt to compromise we replaced some of it with milk the first year, but said what the heck the second year and went full fat. [We didn't actually say that—it's just an expression that seemed to fit the literary moment.] In fact the cream can be left out altogether to make this kosher or whatever, as done by one of our friends whose hot shot budding teenage computer head son failed to download our recipe, so she winged it on our voice communication summary. We actually used one less cup of broth than recommended the second time through, when ms_ani relented on her thyme veto and we used fresh stuff we found just in time, together with the missing criminis [we used fewer shitakes]. And eggs had been doing better in the intervening year in the court of public opinion so we relapsed to the original recipe there. Of course these are dairy so if the cream goes, so do they.

We are stuffing whimps. Too much bad press. So we should technically call what we do dressing. But we don't. After all, how many hungry guests care about the distinction? [Rhetorical question.]

ingredients

what they said what we did
1:
6 T unsalted butter 6 T unsalted butter
1.5 lb mixed fresh mushrooms,
tough stems removed, mushrooms
cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 lb white mushrooms
1/2 lb portabello mushrooms
2/3 lb shiitake mushrooms
(no crimini at store)
2:
4 medium shallots, finely chopped 4 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced 4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 large celery ribs, finely chopped 4 large celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped 1 large onion, chopped
1 T minced fresh thyme 0 thyme (none fresh, ani veto)
1 large leek, halved lengthwise,
sliced finely crosswise
3:
1 c cup dry white wine 1 c dry white wine
5 c cups chicken stock 5 c veggie broth (2 T Plantaforce
concentrated canned low sodium
bouillon + 5 cups water)
salt and freshly ground black pepper salt and freshly ground black pepper
4:
1 lb loaf peasant bread, cut into
1/2" cubes toasted until dry
1 lb (16oz) herbed stuffing bread
1/2 c brown rice, cooked
2 c heavy cream 1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c milk
1/4 c cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 1/2 c finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3 large eggs, beaten 4 eggwhites + 1 egg, beaten together

instructions (no frill)

  1. Precook brown rice according to package/cookbook.
  2. Saute cleaned chopped mushrooms in 3T butter in large nonstick pot.
  3. Food process group 2 ingredients all together and saute separately in 3T butter in large nonstick pot.
  4. Add group 2 ingredients to group 1 pot with 1 cup wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups veggie broth (already boiled) and simmer until liquid reduces and thickens, about 13 minutes.
  5. Mix bread cubes with parsley and then with remaining 3 cups of veggie broth. Add in mushroom veggie saut mix. Stir in cream and milk, then the egg mixture. Stir in rice.
  6. Bake covered 1 hour at 325 F, in two oblong aluminum baking dishes or one bigger [11 in x 14 in] such dish. If desired, uncover after 45 minutes and bake 30 minutes or so till crust forms on top.

notes

  1. This recipe was so well received at Thanksgiving that an emergency request for it went out by e-mail for a big dinner party in Baltimore just before Christmas. It was again a hit, if we are to believe the reports.
  2. Illustrations available.
mshrmstf.htm: 17-feb-2011 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]