“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – Perry Como
This serves 6 – 8 people unless they are stuffing monsters like me ….. Then it serves about 4-8 people
3 sticks of celery
One whole green/red apple
One small white onion
One small red onion
One small yellow or orange pepper
Chop the onions, peppers, apple and celery into small pieces – very small diced pieces are preferable.
Put a small amount of cooking oil and a knob of butter into a pan
Add the onions, peppers and celery. When they start to hiss and sizzle, turn them down to simmer. Now add the apples. You are not so much cooking them but sweating them off.
After a couple of minutes take them off the heat and place to one side
In a large mixing bowl add the breadcrumbs – you can buy ready-made breadcrumbs in the shops – go for one large bag. If you are making your own breadcrumbs I go by the rule of 2 slices per person and then 2 for the pot!
Pour the breadcrumbs into the bowl and add some pepper.
Then it’s time for the herbs. Fresh herbs are preferable – parsley, thyme, sage etc
If you can’t be bothered with all that hassle then use a jar of mixed herbs and be generous. I would add 3-4 tea spoons of mixed herbs.
Then add in some paprika for a nice wintery kick – about half a teaspoon. Make sure to add pepper to the mix at this stage but go easy on the salt – just a pinch or two.
Now add in all the vegetables that you have already sweated in the pot and mix it all together.
The smell should be divine. If it’s not then you need to add more herbs!
Through a decent number of knobs of butter into the pot you sweated the veg in and heat until melted. Then add to the stuffing mix and watch it all coming together nicely.
If it is looking a bit dry then de glaze the pan using a small amount of hot water and add that to the stuffing.
Place in a wide/shallow dish and cover with tinfoil.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes and half way through the cooking take it out of the oven and mix it all up to make sure you are getting it all cooked through. About 10 minutes from the end of the cooking take off the tinfoil so as you get a nice crispy crust on the top.
Serve to a very happy family on Christmas day.
You can vary the fruit/veg that you add seasonally – cranberries work well or apricots instead of the apple. You can also try walnuts along with the apple and the celery.
This is one of the nicest stuffing recipes you will ever taste.
Save some [if you can] for a cold sandwich later in the day.
Enjoy and let me know how it turned out.
Happy Christmas xx
Brenda Drumm (Nigella, eat your heart out!)