Sunday, October 9, 2011

Corn Stuffing

It is October. It is also, for whatever reason, still in the high 70's here, which seems pretty unusual for this time of year in Minnesota. My seasonal meal planning has shifted over to fall, which must mean I'm ready for it, but the weather outside remains warm and pleasantly breezy.

Presumably it is behaving like fall somewhere, and it will eventually do so here, as well. In the meantime, I'm cooking as though the temperatures are about 30 degrees lower than they are, and that suits me just fine.

Today I roasted a chicken. If you'd like to know how, or to be reminded of how insanely straightforward it is to accomplish this in your very own kitchen, I wrote all about it two winters ago, right here.

I also made corn stuffing today. That I will talk about, because it was my first effort at such a project, and I can heartily recommend it. It so happens that last night I made cornbread (the recipe on the Quaker cornmeal box is quick and easy), and today I realized that I had half a pan of it left, and it occurred to me that perhaps corn stuffing would be just the thing to accompany the chicken I was about to pop in the oven.

Say what you will about Rachael Ray, but her cookbooks contain simple recipes for food I want to eat. In this case, I turned to Get Togethers, which was a thoughtful gift from my sister a few years ago. This cookbook is arranged into meals, but I found a corn stuffing recipe buried in her "Giving Grazie: Italian-Style Thanksgiving" meal, adjusted it slightly (as it called for celery and prosciutto, neither of which I had on hand), and subbed in half a pan of leftover cornbread for the "three corn muffins, crumbled" that the recipe suggests. I also added a can of mushrooms to replace the bulk of those ingredients I skipped.

Here's what I made, and it is delicious:

Corn Stuffing
adjusted from Rachael Ray's "Corn, Sage, and Prosciutto Stuffing"

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small can mushrooms, drained
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp poultry seasoning (I used Bell's)
2 sprigs dried sage, chopped (2 Tbsp)
half a pan of leftover cornbread (or 3 corn muffins)
1 cup chicken broth

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, combine olive oil and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper, and poultry seasoning. Saute 5 minutes, until onions are softened. Add sage, stir to combine. Crumble cornbread into the pan. Moisten with broth and heat through. Remove from heat, and cover with foil to keep warm.