Thanksgiving dinner is a tradition that relies on some classic staples of American fare, including turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Of course, when it comes to cooking these annual delicious dishes, everyone has their own trade secrets. Your uncle adds fresh rosemary from his garden to the mashed potatoes. Mom bastes the turkey every 20 minutes on the dot. With the stuffing, many aspiring chefs may be hesitant to veer too far from tradition, but there are a number of ways to take your holiday stuffing to the next level. Whether you make it from scratch or out of a box, here are five ways to upgrade your stuffing this holiday season:
1. Don’t bother waiting for bread to go stale
According to the Food Lab at Serious Eats, toasting bread and waiting for it to go stale both serve the purpose of removing moisture. When the bread is dry, it can better absorb all of the broth and drippings in your stuffing, giving it more flavor. However, waiting for bread to go stale takes time. Make the process more efficient by simply toasting it in the oven at a low heat. Serious Eats advises 45 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for two loaves.
2. Use homemade bread
This tip won’t be of much help for those that make stuffing from the box, but if you’re learning how to make dough this is a great opportunity to put your bread baking skills to work. Make a couple loaves of fresh, homemade bread to give your stuffing that extra layer of flavor.
3. Add your signature flavor
Newsminer.com points out that if you opt for stuffing from the box to save time, you can doctor it up by adding your own fresh ingredients. Throw in your own meat, veggies, dried fruit and seasonings to make that generic stuffing unrecognizable.
4. Make stuffing muffins or balls
There’s nothing worse than passing the stuffing around the dinner table and watching someone else take a heaping portion that may leave you with a less-than-desirable helping when it finally reaches you. By making stuffing muffins or balls, everyone at the table will be more inclined to exercise restraint and receive the same portions.
5. Repurpose leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have stuffing leftovers, consider repurposing them into a breakfast hash or a post-Turkey Day sandwich.