ok...my sister can't be with us for tgiving and my parents are traveling to my house (they usually have tgiving with her). so, to make her feel included, i asked her for her stuffing recipe (and it's true that i never make stuffing) so that mom and dad would know i made her recipe and she'd feel good. here's the problem...it's full of margarine and mega-eggs. i don't mind eggs...but i cook with a lot more olive oil and almost never use butter and haven't tasted margarine in a lifetime.
so, help me fix this so that i don't cringe making it but that it stays somewhat in the same vein. (i don't think my parents will notice that there is more olive oil and chicken stock and less margarine and eggs???)
here's what i have to work with. all advice REALLY REALLY appreciated.
this recipe will feed about 10-12 people,
with some leftovers.
4 large loaves assorted breads, cubed (multi-grain; potato; oatmeal; dark; sweet challah: whatever types you like). Leave out to dry a bit overnight, turning pieces several times to expose them to air; cover loosely with waxed paper.
1-2 bunches celery, diced
3-5 large sweet or yellow onions, peeled and sliced or chopped
3-4+ lbs fresh mushrooms (white or mixed types, whichever you prefer; the more, the better!), sliced
milk, about 1/4 cup (Dad can't digest milk, so you can use any of these: extra margarine, chicken broth, jam, egg beaters or egg whites and/or lactose-free milk)
raisins (optional; 1 cup golden, for sweetness; note: Mom can't eat any raisins)
1-2 chopped apple pieces, optional, for sweetness (skin apples if desired)
1/4-1/3 cup sweet jam (i.e., apricot, mixed fruit, blackberry)
1/2 cup wheat germ OR walnut OR pecan pieces (1-2 cups, to taste)
2/3-1 cup oatmeal (I add this when mixing at step #5 only if I haven't used many multi-grain breads.)
margarine,1-2 cups;(I use Smart Balance Heart Healthy Omega-3; it has a good taste)
Assorted spices, to taste:
Add some garlic to mushrm-celery-onion mixture!
1-2 tsp white pepper OR 1/2 cup mild green chopped chiles (canned) OR 2 tsp. mild red chile powder
parsley OR dill (optional)
Preheat oven to 425. Lower heat to 375 after the first 15 minutes of baking the covered stuffing. Monitor temperature.
1. Simmer onion and celery in "butter" on low-med-low heat in a very large heavy-duty pot until they begin to soften; approx 20-40 min. Stir occasionally and do not let the mixture scald; add a little water or chicken broth if needed.
2. Add mushrooms and stir in spices and jam. Simmer slowly for 30-40 minutes in lidded pot, being sure to stir occasionally. Taste to check on adding more spices.
3. When the mixture is beginning to soften and meld, add raisins (IF you are using them).
4. When entire mixture is soft, take off heated stove and let cool a bit.
5. Mix bread cubes into several large bowls. Add lightly mixed eggs and stir into the bread pieces. Add milk or cream, a bit at a time so it doesn't get overly moist.
6. Add onion, celery, mushroom mixture to bread cubes.
7. Add nuts or wheat germ. Stir well to moisten all the bread.
8. Oil or use Pam on the bottom and sides of one or more ceramic or enameled large casserole dish(es).
Fill each dish not quite to the top with stuffing mixture, but do not press down.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes-1.25+ hours in preheated 375 degree oven on middle shelf; note that it will burn on the bottom shelf.
10. Check at 45 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter to ensure the stuffing is fully cooked and not burning. Remove foil the last 15 minutes to form a slight crust on the top, if desired.
Note: Add extra melted margarine/butter if mixture is too dry when folding cooked mushroom-onion-celery mixture into dry bread cubes and other ingredients.