Is it stuffing or is it dressing? Well, that can be a complicated answer. It is actually called both. Sometimes it is a regional difference, at least here in the United States. If you live in the South, you probably call it dressing. Northerners refer to it as stuffing and it is fair game for everyone in between. But it is also called stuffing or dressing depending on whether you cook it in the bird (or other meat) or if you cook it separately. I prefer to cook the dressing outside of the bird, but then it really depends on what I am cooking too. For Thanksgiving, I cook the dressing (although I usually call it stuffing) separately. When I make stuffed chicken or pork chops, I usually cook it in the meat. I think it is because the cooking times are much shorter, so everything cooks more evenly. A turkey takes a lot longer to cook, and if you cook the stuffing inside the turkey, often times, either the stuffing or the turkey do not cook evenly, which causes a whole host of other problems, including health risks.
What is stuffing or dressing? It is a starch based dish most often made with bread as the main ingredient, and anything and everything you would like to include as minor ingredients. Most stuffings are bread based, although you can also make them with potatoes, rice or other grains too. I make many different kinds of stuffings. Just like with everything else I make, it just kind of depends on my mood at the time. This time, for part of our Thanksgiving feast I decided to make a Mediterranean style stuffing, using artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil. Our Thanksgiving Feast
I apologize, I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I usually do. I had a lot on my plate, both literally and figuratively. 🙂
Mediterranean Style Stuffing with Artichoke Hearts and Sundried Tomatoes
I lb or about 10 cups of day-old or dried bread, cubed
1 large red onion, diced fine
2 TBSP garlic
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 10-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade or cut into very thin strips
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken or turkey broth
olive oil for cooking
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 170* C.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the bread, Parmigiano cheese, basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper together and set aside.
Cook the onions for about 5 minutes first, in the olive oil, then add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 more minutes.
Then add the artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Combine everything together with the bread mixture and toss everything together well.
Lightly beat the eggs and mix in with the wine. Pour them into the bread mixture, along with about 1/2 of the stock and mix well. Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Firmly press the mixture into the pan. Pour the rest of the stock on top of the dressing and press again, making sure everything has been saturated with the stock.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about an hour or until the stuffing is hot throughout. If you like a little bit of a crust to your stuffing, uncover for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time.
You can serve this with just about anything. Stuffing is always a great side dish, no matter what you choose to serve it with. It will always be a well-loved dish for any occasion.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.