No more having to call dibs on that coveted buttery toasted-top serving of Thanksgiving stuffing! With Stuffin’ Muffins every muffin is a guaranteed super savory feast of moist-but-not-mushy stuffing with a buttery-tasting toasted top. These fun-and-easy-to-make muffins are so rich in hearty flavor they’re not just for your vegan Thanksgiving Dinner! They are a great meal all by themselves, or enjoy them smothered in vegan gravy with salad or your favorite veggie.
Go ahead, grab a friend and a glass of wine, have fun and make an extra batch of these muffins because they freeze great! It’s easy; just double the recipe by adding another large bowl on your countertop and dividing doubled ingredients between them.
- 1 pound of homemade dried bread cubes, (day old French or sourdough bread – or a combination of both breads – makes a great dried cube), or, in a pinch you can use Arnold Premium Stuffing dried bread cubes, either Seasoned or Sage and Onion. Just make sure whatever you pick is vegan.
- 3 large, leafy celery stalks (celery leaves are wonderful!), minced
- 4 med or 3 lg sweet or Vidalia onions, minced; or you can certainly combine with or substitute leeks, whichever one looks freshest at the store
- 3-4 large Portobello mushroom caps, or flavorful mushroom of choice, cleaned and chopped into ½” pieces and sautéed in oil and minced garlic – set aside)
- 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes, aka “nutch”
- Celtic sea salt
- white pepper
- Earth Balance ‘butter’
- Olive oil
- Optional ingredients :
· 3 links of Field Roast brand Smoked Apple Sage Sausage, crumbled and sautéed in a skillet until browned – set aside – and/or
· 1 cup of dried cranberries
≡ ≡ ≡
Rich and Super Savory Broth
Combine in a medium size saucepan:
2 cups (or ½ box of boxed mushroom broth) mushroom broth
1 cup of filtered water
4 tbsp Earth Balance butter
Bring to a boil, immediately turn off and add:
A bouquet of fresh sprigs: Sage, Thyme and Rosemary
Cover to steep
≡ ≡ ≡
Preheat oven to 350°
- Place the dried bread cubes in a large stainless steel or glass bowl.
- Make the broth according to the directions above and set aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp butter along with 2 tbsp olive oil in a large med/hot skillet or heavy bottom fry pan. If you are making a double batch of muffins you’ll want to use two large skillets or heavy bottom fry pans.
- Add onion and celery/leaves to the skillet and sauté until the onion begins to caramelize and the celery is al dente.
- Add the cooked onions and celery, along with the “nutch”, to the large bowl containing the bread cubes and combine gently – use the mixing technique described in Step 9.
- Add the poultry seasoning, some pinches of dried sage and thyme, and salt and pepper to taste to the mixture in the large bowl, mixing gently.
- Add the cooked mushrooms and optional cooked sausage to the bowl with the bread cube mixture, mixing gently.
- Strain the broth that you had set aside to steep into a medium size bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Using the bottom of a spoon, press out every last flavorful drop of tasty broth from the springs and leaves.
- Using a ladle or large spoon, sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of the broth evenly over the top of the bread cube mixture, then immediately combine to distribute the moisture by running a standard size spatula all the way down the inside of the bowl and toward the middle of the bottom, then lifting and turning the mixture as you turn the bowl a bit, repeating all the way around the bowl. Use this as your mixing method for the duration of this recipe, as it eliminates any danger of smushing the cubes. Repeat the wetting of the cube mixture, being sure to stir the broth before wetting the cubes, until all the cubes are thoroughly damp but not totally soggy and at the risk of losing their shape. You might have broth left over and that’s ok. Better to have some left over than too-soggy cubes.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Gently mix in the optional cranberries.
- Brush the insides of a non-stick 12-muffin pan with a thin layer of melted butter/oil. With your hands, form the stuffing into baseball-size shapes. Drop them into the bottom of each muffin receptacle, pressing them gently into the sides a bit, and maintaining their domed appearance. If the tops look craggy that is good, it just means there is more top area to get crunchy and toasted.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350°, then bake at 425° for 10 more minutes or until the tops are toasted to your liking. Remove from oven, place pan on cooling rack for at least 20 minutes (I place mine on the porch in the cool air outside the kitchen door), then run a blunt knife around the inside of each receptacle to make sure the muffins are loose enough to lift out of the pan with a thin spatula, or fall gently out of pan when turned onto a towel to finish cooling.
Next is the most important step (not hard to do, just important) because, if you do it right, you are going to have stuffing cubes that are evenly damp, just wet enough to cling to one another (so they will hold their muffin shape) without dissolving into a wet mush like so many stuffings do. Before wetting the cubes each time, stir the broth so as to keep the butter evenly distributed in the broth mixture.
Makes about 18 Stuffin’ Muffins
UPDATE : : Thanksgiving Holiday 2009
For many of us this was a year of economic and national uncertainty. Therefore, this Thanksgiving Day was a particularly meaningful one, filled with grateful fellowship and feasting. It also meant it was another Thanksgiving with yummy Stuffin’ Muffins! As always, they were demanded, and they were a hit! This year, as before, I enjoyed them surrounded with baby peas, all of it smothered in vegan gravy next to a chilled dollop of jellied cranberry sauce. It totally satisfied that sweet-vs-savory, salt-vs-sweet thing that many of us crave. Oh, my!
However, for many cooks, a recipe is an organic thing whose interpretation changes with each endeavor. And so it was with my Stuffin’ Muffins this year. Herewith is the official roll-out of Stuffin’ Muffins ’10! Since the broth is the backbone flavor for this dish, this year I decided to take advantage of some new products and different techniques in order to deepen the flavor of the broth even more. I also added some necessary recipe information, like serving amounts, as well as clarified some steps and added an optional ingredient. Stuffin’ Muffins ‘10 promises to be every bit as delicious as Stuffin’ Muffins ’09. I know, because we just ate them!
Please come back and visit soon. I’ll be adding my recipe for vegan gravy, as well a blog featuring a complete vegan Holiday dinner!
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!