If you follow me on Instagram, and especially if you frequently watch my stories, you have probably noticed I really have an infatuation for my homemade pain de mie (the best white sandwich bread you will ever be blessed to know, if you ever get a chance to try it!). While this recipe can be made with really any bread of your choosing, I love it most when it allows my homemade bread a chance to shine in a new form. Making a loaf of bread just to turn it into stuffing may sound like a waste of time and effort, but I am convinced that homemade bread, of any variety, has such a unique and complex flavor that simply cannot be replicated by store-bought varieties. But, like many things, this recipe is only good if you like it… so feel free to substitute whatever bread you prefer. Roughly the amount of a small loaf of sandwich bread. If you choose purchased bread, I personally recommend buying a loaf from Panera, if you have one nearby!20181117_175938

1 loaf of pain de mie, diced

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 sweet onions, finely chopped (leeks make a lovely substitution)

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped

1 bunch of fresh sage leaves, finely minced

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 cup of dry white wine

1 bunch of flat leaf parsely, stems removed, finely minced

*1 cup of water

*2 teaspoons “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base

3 eggs

*the water and chicken base may be substituted for chicken broth

Spread bread cubes on a large baking sheet at slide into a 300ºF oven for about 30 minutes to slightly dry out. Stir every 10 minutes. This can be done in advance.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions (if using leeks, ensure they are thoroughly washed to remove all sand before cutting and adding), celery, and salt. Stir frequently, and cook until vegetables are soft. Add garlic, sage, and black pepper. Stir briefly, and quickly add only half of the wine before the garlic burns. Cook until wine is mostly evaporated, just a couple minutes.

Butter a large baking dish. Whisk chicken base into the 1 cup of water. Add all the contents of the skillet to the baking dish, along with bread cubes, parsley, remaining wine, and water with chicken base. Carefully mix all the ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, add to the baking dish, and thoroughly mix everything together.

Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes. If you prefer more moist stuffing, leave the foil on the whole time.


Collard Greens

Living south of the Mason-Dixon line, collard greens are an essential ingredient on any well laid winter table. Unlike most leafy greens, they are tough and difficult to eat when fresh. Also unlike most leafy greens, collards stand up famously to hours and hours of cooking. We like ours best with lots of apple cider vinegar, but you are welcome to adjust the proportions to your taste. Collard greens are very versatile and open for interpretation. The only non-negotiable ingredient is the collards themselves, and hours of gentle simmering.20181117_175956

2 large bundles of collard greens (looks like too much, but they shrink drastically!)

2 cups apple cider vinegar (you can add slowly and adjust to taste as you cook)

3 cups water

2 tablespoons sea salt (adjust to taste)

2-3 strips of cooked bacon, cooled and crumbled finely

Carefully rinse off all the collard leaves. Cut out the hard center rib. Stack several leaves on top of one another, roll into a tube shape, and slice thinly to produce long strips of leaves.

Pour all water and vinegar (in the ratio of your choice), salt, bacon, and collards to a large pot. If the greens are overflowing a bit, don’t worry. They will quickly begin to reduce in size and leave lots of room! Set the heat to high until the liquid boils, then cover and simmer for at least an hour, preferably two. Or three.

Did I mention how flexible this recipe is?

The collards are done when they are soft and very tender. You can continue to adjust your water and vinegar ratio as you cook. If you like them with lots of liquid, add more and keep the lid on. If you have too much liquid to your taste, remove the lid (and raise heat slightly to keep them simmering) and allow liquid to evaporate.

Spoon Bread

Spoon bread is a softer version of cornbread. Since it isn’t firm enough to cut and eat with one’s fingers, utensils are required…. spoons, usually… hence, the name! For a classic American Thanksgiving, corn must be featured on the table in some form. This recipe is our preferred way to partake in this custom. The photo used for this post was hastily snapped during our Thanksgiving meal, but I will remake this, and get a better photo soon.20181117_175949

3 Tablespoons butter (plus more for dish)

1 onion, very finely minced

2 cups water

¼ cup sugar

1 cup cornmeal (we prefer the yellow, coarse-ground cornmeal from Bob’s Red Mill)

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

5 large eggs

1 ½ cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350ºF, and butter a 2-quart baking, or souffle dish.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan. Saute minced onion until soft and translucent.

Whisk together the eggs and heavy cream.

Add the water,salt, and sugar to the saucepan, and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, slowly pour in the cornmeal, and stir constantly to avoid it forming lumps. Reduce heat to low, and continue to stir and cook for a couple minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Stir in the corn kernels, and mix well.

Remove from heat, and pour in the egg and cream mixture. Mix thoroughly. Once well-incorporated, carefully pour into baking dish, and carefully place in oven.

Bake until it is set, and the top is golden brown. You may cover with aluminum foil if you prefer the top to remain yellow, and avoid any browning.