Saturday, November 27, 2010

Deep-Fried Stuffing Balls and Cranberry-Ginger Sauce

There's just something about bread that has been breaded and fried...

Deep-Fried Stuffing Balls

I believe Reed used this recipe from the Christian Science Monitor.  He then formed the stuffing into balls, dipped each one in soymilk, then dredged it in breadcrumbs, and dropped it into a vat of canola oil.  Truly amazing.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

5 c bread, cubed
1 c onion, chopped
2 TB vegan butter
3/4 c celery, chopped
2 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 TB melted vegan butter
1 apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces
3/4 c dried cranberries
1/3 c minced parsley
1-2 c vegetable stock

1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Cut your bread into cubes, and put them on baking sheets on a single layer. Bake in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Fry the onions in two tablespoons of butter over medium heat till evenly browned, occasionally stirring. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme, and cook for about two minutes, stirring to blend. Remove from heat.
3. Place the toasted bread cubes in a large mixing bowl, then pour the saute mixture on top of the bread. Pour six tablespoons of melted vegan butter over the mixture, then add the apples, cranberries and parsley. Mix well.
4. Drizzle with about one cup of the broth until thoroughly moist but not soggy. Mix again. Transfer to a baking dish and allow to bake for about 20 minutes.  Serves 4-6.


I thought these amazing little balls of oil and bread went really well with the cranberry-ginger sauce I'd made, which was lucky, because the sauce didn't really go with anything else.  I love how stupidly easy it is to turn real cranberries into sauce--why would you ever buy it canned?  Well, there is the fact that fresh cranberries are only available like one month out of the year.  I stocked up this time: I have so many cans of pumpkin puree and bags of fresh cranberries (to freeze); I should be good during the dry spell of January to October 2011.

Not a complete recipe here, sorry; I just kept adding things to taste and to sight.  All you really need is cranberries, water, and sugar.  And even though I don't like the sauce sweet, I still needed quite a bit of sugar.  Cranberries are intensely sour.  I feel like cranberries, pomegranate molasses, and tamarind need to get together and figure out world peace or something.  They come from such drastically different climates and plants, but they all do the same kind of thing culinarily.

Cranberry-Ginger Sauce

1 bag fresh cranberries
sugar to taste (1/2-1 c?)
water as needed
1-in piece ginger, peeled and minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
ground cloves (1/2 tsp?)
ground cinnamon (1 tsp?)
vanilla extract (1/2 tsp?)
tiny pinch salt
black pepper

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low for several hours.  Add water as needed to keep sauce from burning.  If it's too watery, leave the lid off; otherwise, cook covered, stirring occasionally in any case.  When you remove sauce from heat and allow it to cool, it will firm up further.

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