My nephew, Sam, is a vegetarian. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have developed this recipe. As you know from my previous post, I’m a big fan of stuffing cooked inside the turkey. Of course, one can’t do that for a vegetarian stuffing, so I had to come up with one cooked outside the bird, with no meat stock.
To my surprise, the vegetarian stuffing was a hit at our Thanksgiving feast. MM helped me make it. He’s one of my best tasters. When we were making it we could tell it was going to be good. The biggest compliment was that my sis-in-law, Celia, asked for the recipe. Celia is an accomplished chef, so I felt gratified to receive an enthusiastic response from her.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 heaping tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 stalk celery diced, 1/4 cup
- 1/2 small onion diced, 1/4 cup
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced*
- 5 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced*
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 7.4 ounces, 1 jar, whole roasted chestnuts, broken into bits*
- 8 ounces, 1/2 pound, bread, slightly dry and cut into 1″ cubes**
- 8 ounces cornbread, slightly dry and cut into 1″ cubes
- 3 eggs
- mushroom soaking liquid
- 1/2 cup mushroom stock***
- 1/2 cup vegetarian stock***
- 1/4 cup cream
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Soak the porcini mushrooms in warm water until soft, about 10 minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the celery and mushrooms to the pan and sauté until the celery is soft and the onion is translucent. Remove from the skillet, placing the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
Melt another 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and add the mushrooms. Sauté them. Meanwhile, drain the porcini. Strain and reserve the soaking liquid. Chop the porcini coarsely and add them to the sautéing mushrooms. Continue sautéing the mushrooms until the mixture is fairly dry. Stop the cooking if the mushrooms begin to stick to the pan. Add the mushrooms to the mixing bowl. Cool the mixture to room temperature before adding the remaining ingredients.
Add the cubed breads, chestnuts, chopped parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme to the vegetables in the mixing bowl. Toss the mixture well. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup combine the mushroom soaking liquid, stocks, cream, and eggs. Mix this mixture well so the egg is well distributed in the liquid. Pour the egg and stock mixture over your bread mixture, toss it all very well as you do. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Butter a 9 x 9 or equivalent sized pan. Place the stuffing in the pan. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover the stuffing and continue baking another 20 minutes or until the center of the stuffing reaches a temperature of 165 degrees. Enjoy!
*The amount of white mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, and jarred whole chestnuts that I used for this recipe was based on the store-bought container size of the item. You could easily vary the amounts to fit any similarly sized containers that you find in your supermarket.
**I used pain de compagne, a white and wheat mixed bread. I purchased mine at my local Whole Foods. I used their cornbread as well. Use day old, slightly dry bread. Or you can place the bread in a 200 degree oven for 15 minutes or so to dry it out a bit. The drier bread will absorb the liquid and egg mixture better than fresh bread.
***I used boxed mushroom and vegetable stock, Pacific Foods brand.