Today I carried an entire year’s worth of shadow puppet making supplies to my favourite school. I teach puppetry at this school in grades pre-k through 3rd so I had A LOT of art supplies. I called a car service (even I don’t bike with that much stuff to carry). To my delight, my cab driver was José, a charming man who has driven me to this school when I have called this taxi company in the past. This car ride was particularly nice because José was really excited about Thanksgiving (which is exactly one week away here in the states). He spent the entire 10 minute cab ride describing the way he always makes his turkey. Years ago, he worked in an Italian restaurant, and the chef there prepared a turkey for the wait staff that was stuffed with fruit. José said “It was beautiful. I always make it this way”. You take all kinds of fruit (oranges and apples were mentioned) and marinate it over night in white wine and beer (?!). Then stuff it into the turkey and bake it the next day. I may try it…although I would skip the beer!
Moving on to things that I have actually tried…I recently made a disappointing stuffed pork loin recipe. Although I was not happy with the dish itself, I did make a really good yam, swiss chard and chipotle gratin out of the leftover seasoning paste. I was also left with TONS of this delicious fruit, almond and green olive stuffing. I mixed it with home-made cornbread and used it to dress a baked chicken, and to quote José, it was beautiful. It would be a good stuffing for a Thanksgiving turkey too…although I like to bake my turkeys unstuffed…I just bake the dressing on the side.
- 2 recipes gluten-free skillet cornbread (For stuffing it is better that the cornbread is very golden brown and a bit crispy on the edges)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dry sherry, heated
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dried apricots, sliced
- 1 cup pitted prunes, sliced
- 1 cup pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds toasted until golden on a dry skillet
- 1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley
- Combine the warm sherry and the raisins in a small bowl and allow them to stand for 20 minutes to plump the raisins.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter and cook the onions and garlic stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
- Add the raisins, sherry, apricots, prunes, and olives and cook for about 5 minutes or until the fruit is soft.
- Crumble the cornbread leaving some large chunks and combine it with the fruit, almonds and parsley.
- Use it to stuff a large chicken or a small turkey. Or bake it in a casserole dish with a few pat of butter until it is golden on top.