the food maven's homemade bread stuffing

     Last Thanksgiving I decided to make my stuffing with cubed bread of different types, instead of buying the usual Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix I usually use... not that there's anything wrong with that;) I am easily bored and needed a creative change.
     I bought several types of bread a few days before. French bread, sourdough baguette, pumpernickel, multi-grain and challah. I cubed, mixed together, then stored the bread in zipper bags. The night before, I prepped and tossed all of the veggies together, then lightly sauteed them.
     On Thanksgiving morning, everything was ready to go. I made a pan of plain stuffing with celery and onion only, for the picky people and one with mushrooms, celery, onion, sage, apples, toasted pecans and dried cranberries... That one disappeared first. (This year it is the only one I'll make.)
5 loaves day old bread of different types, cubed
1 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
3 ribs celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3 apples, cored and diced
4 c. turkey stock
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh sage leaves
thyme leaves
italian parsley
Cube bread. If doing this ahead of time, store in zipper bags. May be frozen until needed. In large saute pan, melt butter with olive oil until hot. Toss in onion, celery and garlic. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. After veggies in pan become translucent, add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, place chopped pecans on cookie sheet and toast in 350 degree oven for ten minutes. Check to see if they're toasty enough. Cook longer if necessary. Cool until needed.
When veggies are done, place them in a large mixing bowl with bread and remaining dry ingredients. Mix well then pour stock over. Mix everything lightly, just until bread is moist. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Turn into a large baking pan. Bake for thirty minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with lots of gravy, then later, piled with cranberry sauce on your turkey sandwich.

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