Stuffing is my thing. I love it. I eat it. I can make it. But it MAY not be exactly the way you're used to making it. I watch a lot of TV Food Network, but never for the recipes, so everything here is slightly ball-parked. That means it is all approximate. But stuffing is pretty easy and forgiving when it comes to letting people cover up their mistakes. It is also a great stress reliever when you are already crumbling under the weight of family and friends jamming themselves into your house. So please enjoy Dadmissions' 10-Step Stuffing.
Step one: Buy two huge boxes of buttery Ritz crackers. Not Saltines. Not Keebler. They need to be Ritz. They are little circles of buttery, salty goodness. Two huge boxes will make stuffing for about eight people. Feel free to buy more if you need more.
Step two: Take a deep baking pan and pour out all eight cracker sleeves. However many crackers you have, pour a huge Himalayan helping of crackers.
Step three: This can be a fun one for the kids or a parent who is already looking to get out some aggression. Pulverize the crackers into submission. Smash them. Squish them. Crunch them. Fold them over and repeat the process. Don't turn them into mini breadcrumbs. Leave them a little bigger so you can still see cracker ridges and tell they were crackers at one time.
Step four: Set aside the crackers while you prep the veggies.
Step five: Cut up celery, carrots, onions and anything else you'd want in the stuffing. You can even use the frozen veges if you really want but I prefer the fresh stuff. It's the one thing I make all year and then I can call myself a gourmet.
Step six: Put the veggies in a frying pan. Drown them in an unhealthy amount of butter. You only live once and it's Thanksgiving so hey, what the heck. We're looking to cook the veggies a little, steam them a little and get them all buttery and yum.
Step seven: When the veggies are all good, take the frying pan full of buttery veggies and pour it right into the baking pan with the heaping Himalayan helping of Ritz crackers.
Step eight: Stir the mixture around and add some water as well to make sure every part of the baking tray, the veggies and the crackers are moist... Not too moist... But moist. Again, that's a ballpark thing.
Step nine: Pop that thing in the oven for 30 or 40 minutes at 350 or so. You're looking for the top to get slightly crunchy and brown but the inside will still be moist and yum.
Step ten: Serve it up and eat it up. You can put gravy on the side. No need to take it out of the turkey and no worries about salmonella since there was no turkey involved in the making of the stuffing.
In the Dadmissions household, mom's stuffing was legendary and could be used as leftovers for several days. It was one of the only times all year when we could really sit down as a family so as always, the food was about much more than the food. It was family. It was reconnecting over a good meal. And now even though my mom is no longer with us, I'm hoping to pass some of that family tradition on to my kids. Try it out and let me know what you think on Facebook at Dadmissions The Book.
Happy Thanksgiving from Dadmissions!
Follow Pete Wilgoren on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@Dadmissions