Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sage, Walnut and Dried Fig Stuffing

1 large loaf/slab of herb bread
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1 cup sugared walnuts (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Shoot for 6 to 7 cups of cubed bread. Set aside in a large bowl.
Put the cranberries in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of the apple juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until cranberries start to pop and split. Cook a minute beyond that and drain the cranberries, discarding the cooked apple juice. Add the cranberries to the bread, along with the onion, figs, sugared walnuts, and sage.
In that same small saucepan over medium heat whisk together the remaining (1/4 cup) apple juice, butter, and stock. Toss the bread (don't over mix or it could go to mush) and stuff whatever it is you are going to stuff. Alternatively, bake, covered, in a casserole dish at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.
Makes about 6 cups of stuffing.
Sugared Walnuts2 egg whites
1/4 natural cane sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
2 cups walnuts, shelled
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt until well combined. Fold in the walnuts, stirring until well coated. Place in a sieve and allow to drain for a couple minutes before placing the nuts in a single later on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, until the nuts take on a golden hue and the coating has dried out quite a bit and hardened. Remove from oven and cool.
Makes about 2 cups of nuts. Plenty for the stuffing, plus some to snack on.