Today is my little brother’s birthday!
(He is little only in the respect that I had the luck to be older than him. He’s 2 1/2 years younger than me but in my memory has always been at least my size, if not taller.)
Happy birthday Nolan!
The thing about brothers, little or otherwise, is they are the peer who has been at your side for the longest. They know you in ways that it is hard for other people to know you, because your lives have been steeped in each other’s pretty much from the beginning.
Like Baz Luhrmann once said, “Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future… the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”
Though I don’t know from personal experience, I’m sure it’s very much the same with sisters.
So, for the boy who would don rubber boots alongside me to muck about in the thawed ditches every spring, and tie yarn harnesses on his toys so we could have them mountain climb up book shelves, the man who enjoys an extremely silly board game as much as I do: Happy birthday. I love you to bits!
1 loaf stale bread of choice (or equivalence in other bread product, I used some buns)
1/2 Cup pine nuts
6 slices of bacon
1 large onion
200 grams cremini mushrooms
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Cups chicken broth
- Tear up the loaf of bread into bite sized pieces. You can cut it into cubes, but tearing up the bread leaves crags and crannies that give the stuffing extra texture.
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat until they get fragrant. Set them aside for later use.
- Set a skillet over the hob, cut the bacon into lardons, and cook them until crispy. Set aside for later.
- Slice and dice your mushrooms and onion, respectively. Add them into the skillet that was used to crisp the bacon, and cook until the onions are translucent and a lot of the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the torn bread pieces with the pine nuts, bacon, onion, and mushrooms.
- In a smaller dish, whisk together the black pepper, thyme, egg and chicken broth.
- Pour the liquid slowly over the dry stuffing, tossing to moisten evenly.
- Separate the stuffing gently into 12 balls and place in muffin cups, bake in a 350 °F oven until the tops are browned and crispy ~20-25 minutes.
- Note: if you wish to bake it in one large dish, rather than muffin cups, extend time to ~30-35 minutes.
- Serve with the rest of the meal, and enjoy slathered in gravy if possible.
So tasty! Normally I don’t get very impassioned for stuffing, but this is definitely a recipe I will be returning to next time this side is called for.
What I really love about the stuffing being stuffing muffins, though, is that splitting it up into smaller pieces gives a bigger surface area and therefore more tasty, crispy, crunchy edges. And, they just look so cute on the plate!
Mr says: People need to know about this. Thanksgivings will forever be more awesome because of stuffing muffins.
A month or so ago I won a giveaway from Aysegul over at New York’s Delight. The giveaway: pomegranate molasses! A pretty little box showed up at my house about a week ago and I received my lovely gift (thank you!).
For the giveaway, Aysegul asked for a comment on a recipe you would use pomegranate molasses in, or a recipe you would have liked for her to make. I had a recipe in mind, the haroset that Olga from Sassy Radish had made for Passover. Her haroset had a twist, the pomegranate molasses, and here I was with a brand spanking new bottle! It just had to be made! The pomegranate molasses added into the traditional mixture of apples, honey, nuts and cinnamon adds a level of tang and, for lack of a better word, a sassy element to the haroset.
Olga’s recipe calls for the haroset to be refrigerated overnight, but I tried some right after I mixed it all together and I think I liked it almost better in the moment than I did the next morning. My preparation of haroset had pine nuts instead of walnuts, due to the Mister’s allergies, and having sat overnight they lost a lot of their textural contrast. So, if you are going to use a different kind of nuts, perhaps test the mixture every once in a while during refrigeration, so that it sits long enough for the flavors to marry but not so long that the nuts lose their texture.
(adapted from Olga Massov’s Haroset, Sassy Radish March 2010)
2/3 C pine nuts
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
3 gala apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan over high heat until fragrant (~2 minutes), moving the pan constantly to avoid uneven browning.
- In a bowl, whisk together pomegranate molasses, honey and cinnamon until the mixture is uniform.
- Add the still warm pine nuts to the bowl and toss to coat.
- Then, mix in the finely diced apple, also tossing to coat.
- Eat, or refrigerate for a few hours to give the flavors time to marry.
Next time, I think I might not add the pine nuts in until the morning after, letting the apples get happy in the sauce on their own and then adding the nuts so they retain their crunch. Also, I might not go through the trouble of peeling the apples, it’s not traditional but the peel is good for you and additional color would be nice.
Cheers, and thanks to Olga for giving me permission to use her recipe and Aysegul for the pomegranate molasses!