American Bread Stuffing

American Bread Stuffing - perfect for Thanksgiving!

As Thanksgiving is approaching I thought I would post one of my favourite side dishes. Traditionally in the UK stuffing is thought of as the Paxo sage and onion standard or sometimes it is sausage-meat based.  In the USA they use bread as the base to their stuffings, this gives it a softer almost creamy-like texture, a great alternative!

This recipe was handed to me by my wonderful friend Danie who is originally from Hawaii but grew up in San Francisco.  She shares my passion for great food and great company and I have spent many wonderful Thanksgiving dinners with her as we try to re-create the American traditions here in London!

I don’t tend to do this that often, but when I am having a big gathering for a roast dinner, this is a filling addition to bulk up the meal and fill those hungry bellies! Try it for yourself and see what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any other great Thanksgiving recipes.

American Bread Stuffing up close!

American Bread Stuffing up close!

For this meal I teamed the stuffing up with some roasted pork belly, corn on the cob, peas, spinach, roasted potatoes and gravy. Generally this stuffing is used  more with poultry meats but I’m not one to stick to the rules of what should be served with what!

American Bread Stuffing - perfect for Thanksgiving!

American Bread Stuffing – perfect for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients

340g cubed bread (I used stale french bread but you can use thick cut sliced)

400ml chicken stock

1 medium onion (finely chopped)

2 tbsp Sage (fresh chopped or dried)

2 tbsp Thyme (fresh chopped or dried)

Salt and Pepper

50g Butter

Optional additions: 50g dried cherries and 50g pecans

Method

1. Cut the bread into cubes of approximately 1-2cm. Ensure the bread you are going to use is dried out completely, if not pop in the oven for 10 mins on a temperature of 100c. Bring out and let it cool completely.

2.Transfer bread cubes to a large mixing bowl, pour in the chicken stock and mix completely. Put it to one side

3. Add half the butter to a frying pan, and heat on medium. Add the chopped onion, sage, and thyme.

4. Fry them off in the butter till they are soft and glistening

5. Transfer to the large mixing bowl and mix through the bread and stock mixture

6. If you want to add the optional cherries and pecans stir these in after you have added the onion mixture

7. Baste an oven proof ceramic dish with the remaining butter

8. Add all the mixture to the dish, cover with foil and pop in the fridge for at least an hour. (If you have the time, leave this overnight to soak)

9. The next day bake at 180c/Gas Mark 4/350 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until heated through (Just before you pop in the oven, you can drizzle a bit of sherry on top. Not essential, but it adds a little something)

10. Bake until the top is golden brown

11. Let stuffing stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

12. Enjoy!

Fresh Sweet Chilli dip recipe

Fresh Sweet Chilli Dip

Phew! London has been a sweltering bath of humidity this weekend, lovely to have the weather, but us Brits are never quite sure how to cope with it! Very few residential homes have air con here in the UK, so countless cold showers and wafting the nearest magazine or leaflet as makeshift fans seem to be the best ideas we seem to have come up with!

Our Roof Terrace with paddling pool - perfect way to cool down!

Our Roof Terrace with paddling pool – perfect way to cool down!

When the weather is hot and humid food needs to been fresh, light and cool. This is a light, tasty and versatile dip which can be served with carrot sticks, broccoli florets, mange tout, crisps, tortilla chips or anything you can dip! Try it, it is so fresh especially when it is lovely and chilled. Perfect with a chilled glass of rose!

Fresh Sweet Chilli Dip

Fresh Sweet Chilli Dip

Ingredients

4 tbsp Creme Fraiche

3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chilli sauce

Method

1. Mix the creme fraiche and chilli sauce in a bowl and chill for at least half an hour or so before serving.

2. Serve with crudités, tortilla chips or anything you can dip in it! Enjoy!!

*N.B.* If you need more dip just increase the quantities in ratio. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days

Towering Yorkshire Puddings

If you are from the British Isles, and more specifically the northern half, these are a staple in most house holds.  Mothers (inlcuding my own) constantly strive to achieve the perfect balance of height with lightness without them going too crispy!

Apparently a 2008 ruling by the Royal Society of Chemistry has it that “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall”

This is one of my mother’s favourites.  She received from one of my father’s work colleague’s wives whilst at a work function, the napkin is treasured and I am posting this online so forever will it be immortalised.  This recipe may already be out there, so let this be the disclaimer that although I cannot claim this recipe, I have no proof of where it originally came from…. so there!!  See what you think.

Towering Yorkshire Pudding recipe

makes 24 yorkshires ( I always make a batch and then freeze whatever is not used)

Ingredients

295g plain flour

3/4 pt (ideally skimmed) milk

3 large eggs

1 egg white

Salt & Pepper

Goose/Duck Fat (or lard/oil)

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 240c/475/Gas Mark 9 (or the highest you can get it)

2. Place half a tsp of fat/lard/oil in each pudding tin

3. Once the oven is heated place the tins into the oven

4. In a bowl whisk together with an electric whisk the flour, milk, eggs, egg white, salt and pepper

5. Chill in the fridge for 3 minutes, then whisk again

6. Immediately from whisking, check the fat is smoking in the tins and pour mixture into the tins as quick as you can but taking care not to burn yourself or splash any hot fat

7. Close the oven and watch them rise!  They usually take about 25 minutes, but depending on whether you like them ‘puddingy’ or ‘crispy’ add 5-10 mins if required (this may depend on your oven as well).  Try it and see what is best for you.

8. Serve with your Roast Dinner!  Or… with fruit jams, custard with baked apples, and many more traditional methods!