Great Balls of Stuffing

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Thanksgiving leftovers! There’s the usual suspects… traditional turkey soup, sandwiches, and whatevers. This year, I came across a small article about using leftover stuffing and I was from then on committed to making epic leftover stuffing. This is where fried stuffing balls come in. First, I tested frying stuffing balls without a binder… didn’t work too well. Stuffing without a binder fried ok but not great. Next, I tried using egg as a binder… PERFECT. Now for the cheese, I tried stuffing the stuffing balls with Havarti, Mozarella, and Gruyere because it just so happened that I had those cheeses in fridge. The Gruyere kicked the other cheeses asses which is what I expected. It was perfectly stringy and flavorful.

If you want to make fried stuffing balls at home you can heat your deep fryer to 375F or heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium high heat until smoking. I mixed about a cup and a half to two cups of stuffing with one egg for three stuffing balls. Once I had my stuffing balls rolled out with a 1/2 inch cube of cheese in the center I rolled them in panko bread crumbs and fried them. They will only take about 5 minutes or less and you will want to turn them a few times if you’re frying in a pan. Finally, I recommend using some leftover gravy as a dipping sauce. A good stuffing by itself prepared this way is good but not terribly flavorful. The Gruyere helps a lot but some gravy to dip the whole thing in really makes this an extremely pleasing, decadent dish.

Happy Thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for everyday. I’m not even going to try to list the things that I am thankful for. Instead, I will just say this… I love food. I don’t just love to eat although eating is pretty awesome. I love food and I am amazed by it. Most days, when I conceive of meals I want to cook and eat I am amazed by the possibilities. My amazement is somewhat akin to returning to civilization after being stranded on a desert island for awhile and, for the first time, being in a grocery store with a substantial budget. I have a great respect and concern for the food we consume. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I hope your day is/was safe and joyous.

Quick Brine

I’m not the biggest brining spokesperson in the world. I feel that the most important thing about cooking a tender, juicy bird is the cooking of it, not the brining of it. However, this brine recipe I found from Mario Batali actually does make a difference and it adds a subtle flavor that reminds me of meat roasting in the oven and fall.

1 cup kosher salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup apple cider
2 quarts boiling water
2 quarts ice

In a container large enough to hold your chicken or turkey, combine the salt, cinnamon, rosemary, and cider. Pour in the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Next, stir in the ice and add your bird which should be completely submerged (you may need to put a plate on top of it) in the brine and refrigerated for 1-4 hours. I ended up adding a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to the brine and I only used a little more than a quart of ice and let the brine sit in the fridge briefly to make up for the lost ice. When your bird is done in the brine, pat it dry and only add about 1/3 of the salt that you would normally apply to the outside.