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Classic Sage and Onion Stuffing

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 8 servings

Total carbohydrates: 14 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 1 hour

Total time: 2 hours

This is an excellent pan of a very classic style of stuffing. There are no oysters in it. No chorizo or truffles or kale. And in this way, it is pleasing to holiday traditionalists. The key is to season it quite aggressively, since most low-carb bread seems to taste mainly of egg, which is not inherently bad, but you need lots of sage and onions to make your brain think stuffing instead of quiche. If it seems odd to you that you dry the bread out first only to saturate it later, think of it this way: you’re baking all the plain bread moisture out of it so as to leave it better prepared to soak up all the delicious sagey, oniony broth in the oven. One last thing: you can either bake it at whatever temperature your turkey’s at (adjust the timing accordingly) or else put it in while the turkey is resting before you carve it, which should be about an hour or so for a big turkey.

Ingredients

8 ounces low-carb bread (half of a 1-pound loaf; it may be in the freezer aisle, and it may be marked “Keto-approved”)

4 tablespoons olive oil (you won’t use it all at the same time)

4 tablespoons butter (you won’t use it all at the same time)

1-2 teaspoons ground sage (depending on how much you like sage)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I use regular button mushrooms, but feel free to use something fancier if you’re so inclined)

Kosher salt

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, with their leaves (or with some leaves pulled from the inside of the bunch), sliced thin

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup half-and-half or cream

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 400 and grease a baking dish (mine measures 11 by 7 inches, and is perfect for this amount).

2. Tear the bread into bite-size pieces, put them in a large bowl, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir vigorously—really bash it around with a rubber spatula—to make sure the bread is evenly coated, then tip it onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until it’s browning and dry, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350.

3. Put the bread back in its bowl (you don’t need to wash the bowl first), sprinkle it with the sage, parsley, and pepper, and stir well to distribute the seasonings.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms with ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt), until they give up their liquid and then start to dry out and sizzle a bit, around 5 to 10 minutes. Tip them into the bowl with the bread and put the pan back on the stove.

5. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil in the pan and add the onions, celery, and celery leaves. Over medium-low heat, sauté the vegetables with ½ teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt) until they’re absolutely tender, around 10 minutes. Tip them into the bowl with the bread and mushrooms.

6. Add the broth to the bowl and stir well. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, drizzle the half-and-half over it, and put it in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it is deeply golden and just the texture you like: 45 minutes for a wetter stuffing; 1 hour for a dryer one.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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