Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: Welcome to a Klutzy Thanksgiving!

By Michèle De Meglio

I love Thanksgiving!

Actually, I love cranberry sauce and stuffing. Family drama — not so much.

Another thing I’m not so fond of is turkey. C’mon, does anyone really like dry turkey? Duh, no!

My advice, ditch that inedible bird and load up on sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows and even that weird green beans and fried onions casserole!

Better yet, take those lovely sides and cram them into a sandwich! I’ve never actually done this but apparently the so-called Day After Thanksgiving Sandwich is rather popular.

The traditional ’wich calls for turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce and mayonnaise all piled high on two slices of white or whole wheat bread.

For my sandwich, I made some changes. One, mayo is gross so that’s not touching the bread. Two, there’s no point wasting time making a turkey that’s going to taste like sandpaper. Cold cuts will suffice.

With time on my hands, I made stuffing! No, not that Stove Top nonsense.

My Pecan Stuffing recipe called for chopping and sautéing celery, an onion and handfuls of parsley. Done!

I couldn’t find good old fashioned white bread at Trader Joe’s so I opted for something called Shepherd’s Bread. It looked like white bread and was pretty hard so that’d work.

Since the stuffing recipe called for stale bread and Joe’s loaf was fresh, I popped a few slices in the toaster. That’s gotta do something. After that, the bread was soaked in cold water and squeezed until dry. So weird! I felt like I was doing my laundry!

I added chopped pecans and dried cranberries then filled a Pyrex dish with my hopefully tasty mess. Into the oven it went for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Verdict: Thanksgiving food rocks! The stuffing was wonderfully flavorful thanks to the juicy cranberries and crunchy pecans. They tasted even better when smushed in the ’wich with a mound of yummy jelled cranberry sauce. The stuffing was so tasty that I picked out the turkey and dumped it on my “Happy Thanksgiving” paper plate. This Thanksgiving, give those birds a rest.

Pecan stuffing


1/2 loaf white bread, toasted or stale

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 cup celery, diced

1/3 cup onion

4 tbsp parsley

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

2 eggs


Soak bread in water and squeeze dry. Coat frying pan with butter and sauté celery, parsley and onion. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until soft. Combine with bread, beaten eggs and remaining ingredients. Fill baking pan with mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.


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