It is snowing and freezing cold and TOTALLY AWESOME in Denver right now. I'm so happy I want to skip and hop around the house like a very small child but my gigantic pregnant belly simply won't allow it. Instead, I'm taking as much time as possible to soak it all in since there's no telling when we will get snowy weather like this again. Christmas will probably be 60 degrees and sunny and I'll be crying in my hot chocolate wishing my tears would turn into snowflakes. I know. I'm crazy. I'm OK with this and clearly I don't mind spreading the news. I will say that it is much easier to test and photograph holiday recipes with this kind of weather going on outside my window. Making this Thanksgiving Stuffing with Miso Vegetables filled the house with warmth and delicious smells. I could have sworn there would be a beautifully golden turkey in the oven when I opened the door...
We may not always think of Japanese food in the realm of comfort foods like stuffing, but there are cooking techniques that work beautifully to enhance the already addicting flavors found in many of the dishes we serve on Thanksgiving. Here, I've taken the vegetables and sauteed them until they just begin to soften. Then, I added some miso paste, a splash of cooking sake and a bit of soy sauce, allowing everything to simmer until the vegetables are nicely glazed with a beautiful sauce. I was worried that the sourdough bread I'd chosen would be too overpowering for the vegetables but they were a perfect match. A few finely diced green apples and some crunchy, earthy walnuts and this dish was a done deal. Perfect for a little something different (but not too different) for your Thanksgiving spread.
The only thing missing was a drizzle of turkey gravy and, well, turkey.
I love bringing little bits of our life in Tokyo into the traditions that make life in the U.S. so wonderful. I think that's one of the most wonderful things about food. It helps us bring all of our 'homes' with us no matter where we are. For that, I am thankful.
Thanksgiving Stuffing with Miso Vegetables
Makes 12 servings
- 24 oz sourdough bread loaf, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 granny smith apples, peel on, diced
- 1 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup shiro or awase miso paste
- 1/3 cup cooking sake
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Rosemary for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread the bread cubes on two large, rimmed baking sheets and bake until just dry but not golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a large sautée pan, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion and cook until just beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the miso paste, sake and soy sauce to the pan and stir until the miso paste has completely broken down and the liquid in the pan is smooth. Reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft and glazed. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
In a large bowl (or two) combine the bread with the vegetables. Add the apples and walnuts and toss to combine. Add the chicken broth and toss to make sure all of the bread has come into contact with the broth.
Transfer the stuffing to 2 9x13 inch baking dishes that have been sprayed well with cooking spray.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until there is a nice golden topping on the stuffing.
Remove from the oven, garnish with rosemary, and serve.