1 package cornbread muffin mix – enough to make an 8x8” pie or cake pan (roughly a pound) 3 tablespoons olive oil (or pecan oil if you can find it) 1 medium yellow or white onion, coarsely chopped 1 fennel/anise bulb, top discarded, coarsely chopped 1 ½ cups celery, tops included, coarsely chopped 2/3 cup curly parsley, chopped ½ cup green onion, chopped 3 tablespoons fresh thyme 2 tablespoons fresh sage Salt and pepper to taste 1 small loaf of sourdough bread, cubed and dried (or 8oz of your favorite pre-cut stuffing) 12 oz fresh pecans, coarsely chopped 14 to 16 oz chicken, turkey or vegetable broth
Bake your cornbread according to package directions and set aside to cool, then cube.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion and fennel for a few minutes and then add the celery, parsley, green onion, thyme, sage, salt and pepper and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the celery color gets deeper and the vegetables are well combined.
I like to roast my pecans briefly (2-3 minutes) to bring out the oils and the toasty flavor.
In a large mixing bowl combine your bread, cornbread, sautéed vegetables and pecans until well blended, adding the broth to whatever level of moisture level you prefer (I generally used an entire 14 oz can or two cups if I am making fresh turkey broth). Stuff in bird or bake separately at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the top browns and gets crunchy.John’s Northern California Stuffing
(for an 18 to 25 pound turkey)
2 Bags of sourdough bread cubes or 1 pound of sourdough sliced bread lighted toasted at 375°F and then cubed 2 cups yellow onions, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon dried sage 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 stick unsalted butter, melted 1 egg, lightly beaten 3/4 cup chicken broth
In a large baking pan combine sourdough bread cubes, onions, celery and parsley. Mix with spoon or washed hands. Add sage, thyme, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and garlic and mix. Add melted butter and egg, stir into mixture. Add chicken broth slowly while stirring.
Note: The stuffing mixture should be moist, but not wet. You may need to add an additional 1/2 cup of broth.
Place stuffing in turkey. Bake per your turkey recipe’s directions.
Alternatively, place stuffing in a baking dish sprayed with oil and bake at 350°F degrees for onehour. Add 1/2 cup of broth after 30 minutes.Stuffing is only one of many family differences I am reminded of (and cherish) every Thanksgiving. I also marvel at how the same debate plays out all over the country as families everywhere combine old food traditions to form new ones. Food is the common thread and on the farms and in the fields the ingredients are slowly, silently growing.