Stuffing

Next to turkey, stuffing is among the most iconic menu items of any American Thanksgiving dinner. While stuffing is certainly more than welcomed around Thanksgiving, there is no reason that people cannot enjoy or serve stuffing at other times of the year. Anyone confused about making stuffing can find a multitude of online resources on the web that can accommodate a variety of culinary experience levels, from novice to commercial experts.

Why Stuffing Got Its Name

While some joke that stuffing gets its name because it is so satisfying, stuffing is also known as "dressing" and "filling"; stuffing is so named because it was used to fill the open cavities of whole birds. As the bird cooked through, the stuffing would also cook and transfer its seasonings and aromatic qualities into the bird. While the term is commonly associated with filling an animal, fare like tomatoes and mushrooms can also be stuffed.

Why "Stuffing is Evil"

Anyone planning to prepare and cook stuffing in the traditional manner of inserting it within an oven-baked turkey, chicken or other poultry carcass is in for a rude awakening. The problem with this iconic approach to stuffing is that the carcass is not a properly insulated vessel:

  • Once the bird is fully cooked, the stuffing will be lagging behind in doneness while also serving as a habitat for bacterial growth.
  • If the stuffing is fully cooked, the entree's meat will suffer from the sacrifice of moisture and tenderness.

To avoid the "evils of stuffing," the cook should simply prepare it as its own dish, in its own vessel and serve it with the rest of the feast.

Recipes for: Stuffing

The ingredient list for a proper stuffing recipe can be broken down into a handful of categories.

  • Egg. This is its own ingredient because it is the simplest and most prolific "binder" a cook can use. Binders keep the various ingredients from separating and improperly mixing.
  • Grains. Bread crumbs, croutons and cereal are especially common components.
  • Aromatics. Anything that adds a strong and pleasant scent, such as onions, dried fruit and herbs, is considered an aromatic.
  • Seasonings.
  • Meat. Some stuffing recipes incorporate oysters, "sweet meats," minced pork or just about any other kind of narrow, thin meat.

Top 5 Routes for "Stuffing"

  1. Alton Brown This Georgia-raised and California-born culinary mastermind has concocted a variety of approaches to any sort of dish, including stuffing. Visitors can not only gain great recipe ideas but also an education into the science of cookery.
  2. The Food Network This website features a variety of approaches to stuffing, created by a variety of celebrity chefs like Sunny Anderson, Tyler Florence and Emeril Lagasse. Anyone with a favorite television chef is bound to encounter recipes for stuffing and other dishes from that person by going here.
  3. Epicurious This site includes several approaches to stuffing in order to cover a range of palettes. Visitors to this site can comment on and rate any of the recipes they encounter. Additionally, this particular site includes a news section to order to keep its visitors apprised of a variety of events and trends within the world of cooking.
  4. All Recipes Whether someone is looking for the perfect stuffing recipe or the she is curious about the various approaches to preparing particular ingredients, like minced pork, the website of this well-established cooking magazine has these enterprising chefs covered.
  5. Country Living This website and magazine is dedicated to all things connected to the comfort and pastoral tropes of traditional "southern living." Anyone interested in preparing or suggesting an interesting recipe like "cornbread and sausage stuffing drizzled with red-eye gravy" or "grits, pork rind and venison stuffing with sawmill gravy" would be well-rewarded by visiting this particular website.

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