Here is my adapted recipe of the lovely focaccia mushroom leek stuffing from the Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving Catalog, on page 20. That I was tempted to nibble on, but decided to freeze it instead for our Thanksgiving meal.
I prepared two stuffing recipes. One for the carnivores with chorizo, and cornbread, and this one for the vegetarians with focaccia, mushrooms, and swiss chard for all the different dietary lifestyles in the family.
I also have a vegan stuffing recipe for our friends (see here).
If I filled it with additives and preservatives it could sit in the refrigerator for nearly three weeks, but I didn’t so in the freezer until the night before Thanksgiving. Sorry processed food companies for calling you out, but homemade is SO much tastier and good for you. Then everything goes into the refrigerator for defrosting.
The concept of freezing dishes may be new to some, but I am telling you my friends, it usually tastes just as delicious, for recipes like these, as prepared the same day recipes, when wrapped, sealed and stored properly for freezing in freezer bags or containers.
I understand how holiday cooking can be intimidating when prepared all at the last minute. I cannot say it enough how preparing foods ahead makes the holidays enjoyable. Cooking doesn’t have to be hectic and crazy. We want to enjoy the holidays not feel like it’s pressure!
From the nibbles I had here and there (can never resist) what stood out the most were all the different wild mushroom flavors, focaccia, then the sweet onion, and leek. A twist on traditional meat stuffing, this vegetarian stuffing is packed with robust flavor.
Less than three weeks away to dig into more than a nibble. The restraint. Brutal.
An easy, and delicious stuffing recipe to add to your Thanksgiving menu … enjoy!
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lb wild mushrooms (I used shiitake, trumpet, crimini, alba clamshell, forest nameko, and brown clamshell), stemmed and sliced – or any wild mushroom you have available
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 bunch (about 4 leaves with stem) rainbow swiss chard, or any variety, trimmed, chopped
1 package Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia Bread by Canyon Bakehouse, diced into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stems removed
3 cups vegetable stock (check labeling that it is GF/DF)
Preheat an oven to 375°F Grease a 9-by-13-inch oven safe baking dish with olive oil, or non dairy soy free spread.
In a large sauté pan set over medium high heat, add olive oil. Add leek, onion, celery, salt and pepper. Stir to combine well. When onions are soft, translucent, and just beginning to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes, add mushrooms and sauté until browned, another 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme. Add swiss chard. Stir to combine for 2-3 minutes, until chard has softened.
Note: It may seem like a lot of mushroom but it will reduce down quite a bit.
Turn off heat, then add cubed focaccia bread to the mixture, toss gently until well combined. Transfer to the greased baking dish. Slowly, and evenly throughout, add vegetable stock to the stuffing mixture.
Note: Don’t push the cubed bread down in the baking dish or toss the mixture too long as this could make the bread mushy, or break apart.
Bake the stuffing for 25-35 minutes. That’s the chorizo cornbread one on the right.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: If freezing, completely cool (about an hour) before completely wrapping (3 times) in plastic wrap, not just the top of the dish. Then put it into a jumbo 2 gallon freezer bag. If you cannot find those, wrap another 2 layers of plastic wrap.
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