Semi-non-traditional stuffing ideas???

I LOVE stuffings. If I had my way at Thanksgiving, there wouldn't necessarily be a turkey (one of these years I am going to revolt and serve pork). There wouldn't even be mashed potatoes. There would be 8 stuffings and 8 vegetable dishes and 4 incarnations of cranberry sauce and no pumpkin pie. I hate pumpkin pie. Don't tell my grandma I said that.

This year I'm serving a fairly fancy Thanksgiving dinner to about 24 people. I would like to offer 2-3 kinds of stuffing. All will be cooked outside the bird, and ideally two would be vegetarian. Any favorites? Ideas?

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linzarella
linzarella November 10, 2010

I'm with you on everything except about pumpkin pie. As for stuffing, how about a Mexican-inspired one, with cornbread or hominy, chorizo, peppers, and cilantro? Or a Chinese-inspired one, with sticky rice, Chinese sausage, wood ear mushrooms, water chestnuts, and regular chestnuts?

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JSCooks
JSCooks November 10, 2010

A friend of mine who is not a bread lover makes a wild rice dish that's fabulous. Think of including wild mushrooms, toasted nuts, maybe some dried cherries or cranberries. A nice complement to the bread stuffing. Have a great T-Day!

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beyondcelery
beyondcelery November 10, 2010

Basic cornbread stuffing, cooked with onion, garlic, and garam masala (about 1tsp garam masala per 1 1/2cups cornbread pieces). Fold in toasted unsalted cashews, diced dried apricots, and toasted unsalted almonds. Other dried fruit and nuts also work well, if you want more variety in there. Season with salt, black pepper, and ground allspice. This is my riff off a basic Kashmiri Pulao.

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vvvanessa
vvvanessa November 10, 2010

how about a savory bread pudding? i like to make one with sautéed leeks, a mix of mushrooms, a bunch of fresh herbs, and a ton of gruyère.

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Kayb
Kayb November 10, 2010

Just idly wondering...could you take orzo or ditalini and use that as a basis for a sturring? I've done a great stuffign for cornish hens using cranberries, apples, chopped pecans; if I were baking outside the bird, I'd combine that with some wild rice or quinoa or maybe even wheatberries or barley for some body, and I'd play with baking spices -- allspice, cloves, nutmeg -- and some ancho chili pepper.

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betteirene
betteirene November 10, 2010

When your revolt has been scheduled, make a stuffing using:

One loaf of French or Italian bread, cubed and left uncovered on the counter overnight (crusts shaved off if you like soft stuffing, left on if you like it chewy);

One recipe of sweet cornbread, cubed and dried in a low oven or left out on the counter overnight;

Two tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" chunks;

One small onion, chopped fine;

A couple stalks of celery, sliced;

A couple hands full of something dried and sweet like raisins or chopped apricots, prunes or pineapple;

Chestnuts or toasted walnuts, if desired;

Salt and pepper to taste and a tablespoon of hand-rubbed fresh or dried sage or poultry seasoning;

Mix everything together in a large bowl and stir in enough chicken stock to moisten--it shouldn't be too wet, just like a wrung-out sponge. Spoon it into a buttered 13"x9" Pyrex baking dish or something similar.

Salt and pepper six or eight pork loin or rib chops and arrange on top of dressing. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees on the top rack of the oven until pork chops are cooked through, about 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.

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SweetTea
SweetTea November 11, 2010

My dad was like you loved stuffing, hated dressing. His favourite was a Chestnut Stuffing made with fresh chestnuts, onion, celery, a box of Ritz crackers, splosh of water, butter, parsley, and salt and pepper. (I posted the recipe) It's vegetarian too, not vegan though, but that would be easy enough to fix with olive oil. By the way, I don't do mashed potatoes either and always have something besides pie (usually pavlova roll). Revolt... pork roast...

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zest in the midwest
zest in the midwest November 11, 2010

These are all wonderful ideas to get me going. Thank you all so much! The menu planning stage of any party is always such fun. I may do a jazzed up more traditional stuffing with chestnuts, one with wild rice and dried fruit, and I love the idea of either a savory bread pudding or a Mexican or Indian influence. Yum! You guys are awesome!

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OysterFiend
OysterFiend November 11, 2010

vegetarian: cornbread based stuffing + roasted poblano chiles (they're mild)
non-vegetarian: take above but add fresh chorizo. so good.

growing up in texas will make you want spicy ALL the time!

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Bevi
Bevi November 11, 2010

Take your traditional cornbread stuffing and when you stuff the craw, alternate with layers of fried oysters - it is delicious.

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NakedBeet
NakedBeet November 12, 2010

Ditto for cornbread stuffing and Persian rice dishes, along with Middle Eastern Jedderah as alternatives for the sides-not to be stuffed.

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Jon Palmer
Jon Palmer November 12, 2010

Spanish chorizo and dates is a combination I've been wanting to try in a stuffing.

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