Recipe by Betty Liu
I used to have a love/hate relationship with stuffing. I loved eating it – the almost custard-y texture with savory herby flavors was one of the highlights of Thanksgiving dinner. The first year I hosted my own Thanksgiving (luckily, a casual dinner-potluck with college buddies), I attempted a seemingly benign cornbread-stuffing recipe that became something resembling a cross between pudding and soggy bread. Not exactly appetizing. Of course, I freaked out and instead made a classic Chinese stuffing – sticky rice!
However, this unsuccessful stuffing lurked on my mind and taunted me until the next Thanksgiving rolled around. I began to read up on stuffing, a dish most people called easy and something you just throw together. This list of stuffing mistakes by Bon Appetit and a wonderfully logical article explaining stuffing from from Serious Eats helped tremendously, and I made challah mushroom stuffing, with great apprehension and great hopes. It’s simple – dehydrated bread re-hydrated with flavorful stock, enhanced by other flavorings ranging from sausage to vegetables, baked to form a savory bread pudding, with the bread chunks literally soaking up all the delicious seasonings. Serious Eats enlightened me to the difference between dry and stale bread, and ever since then I’ve been drying my bread instead of leaving it on the counter to harden. I’ve been on a huge mushroom kick, so I included a medley of my favorite types – oysters, shiitake, and crimini. Melted butter is uncompromisingly added, and I was deliberately heavy on the thyme and oregano. Wild mushrooms, herbs, fluffy challah, butter, and chicken stock – what more do you need in a stuffing? Leeks. That’s what. The second year I made this I just had challah and mushrooms, which was great but lacking something. I discovered that something was an allium. Mushrooms and alliums are a match made in heaven, but for this particular dish I wanted something fragrant but also structural to create a wonderful texture to the stuffing. And this is it – a lovely wild mushroom and leek challah stuffing that will have everyone diving in. Everyone who loves mushrooms, to be specific.
Wild Mushroom and Leek Challah Stuffing
1 loaf challah, cut into 1” cubes – 8 cups total
4 tbsp butter
2 stalks leeks, sliced into rounds
1 tsp salt
2 cups wild medley of mushrooms
10 sprigs thyme, chopped
3 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten,
2-3 cups chicken stock
1| Preheat oven to 275. Lay challah cubes in a single layer and let bake and dehydrate for about 45 minutes, gently tossing 2 times throughout.
2| Increase oven to 350 F.
3| Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic and leeks and cook until leeks begin to soften and wilt.
4| Add in mushrooms and herbs. Cook until mushrooms just begin to soften, 5-10 minutes.
5| Toss mushroom mixture with challah cubes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread into a buttered baking dish.
6| In a separate bowl, mix beaten eggs with stock and whisk. Pour evenly across bread mixture until bread is saturated.
7| Cover buttered parchment paper and a top layer of foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and parchment paper and cook for another 15 minutes.
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Here at Boston General Store, we love spending time outdoors this time of year. The New England landscapes have so much to offer when it comes to outdoor activities, especially camping and hiking, and we like to take full advantage of that.
Today, some folks are opting for an upgraded kind of camping experience, called glamping, and while we understand lengthy stays out in the wild aren't everyone’s style, we definitely prefer to keep our excursions a little more unpolished. But, that also doesn’t mean we like heading into the woods empty handed.
We take what we need to get by and leave all the rest at home.
People who've followed along on our journey know how important makers are to Boston General Store.
When the shop first launched online, the idea was to create a small assortment of products from around the world featuring craftsmen who truly cared about their trade. Today, four years after opening the business, we still carry almost all of the items from that original collection, speaking to the significance these makers have had in the continued success of BGS.
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