It is getting to be that time of year again — that time of year when families and friends gather around fireplaces, televisions, dining tables or waffle irons. (Really, it depends on the friends and the family.)
It is, naturally, the time of year when thoughts turn to stuffles.
What are stuffles? Stuffles are waffled stuffing. And, let me tell you, stuffles are good.
Ridged to provide maximum crispy edges, they are also built to cradle any bits of turkey, cranberry sauce or gravy you may have on hand.
I made a batch the other day and had stuffles and black coffee for breakfast. (That's maybe not my No. 1 serving suggestion, but it worked.)
In my book, there are recipes for both stuffles made from scratch and a from-the-box stuffle option. (Don't go looking for a box at the store that says "Stuffles" — you'll be looking for a long time.) Below, I'm sharing just the from-scratch recipe.
I am also very sure that you could do quite a bit with leftover stuffing in the waffle iron, though that is left as an exercise to the reader. Report back, please.
Stuffles (Waffled Stuffing)
Note: Many kinds of bread will work here, including sandwich bread and baguette — alone or in combination. Cut any slightly stale pieces or ends into cubes and stash them in a zip-top bag in the freezer until you accumulate enough for this recipe. Thaw at room temperature for an hour before using.
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon dried sage
6 cup dry bread cubes (about ½-inch)
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Nonstick cooking spray
- Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until the onion is soft and the celery is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and dried sage and cook for 1 minute more to heat through. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and chicken broth, then pour that mixture over the bread. Add the vegetable mixture and stir.
- Preheat the waffle iron on medium. Preheat the oven on its lowest setting.
- Allow the stuffing mixture to sit for 5 minutes to absorb the liquid completely, stirring it once or twice.
- Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with nonstick spray. Measure about 1/2 cup of the stuffing mix and place it on one section of the waffle iron. (This measure is approximate. Use enough of the mixture to slightly overstuff each section of the waffle iron. Waffle irons with deeper grooves may need a bit more stuffing.)
- Close the lid and press down to compress the stuffing.
- After 4 minutes, open the lid to check on the stuffle. It should be golden brown and cohesive. Use a silicone spatula to loosen the edges before sliding the spatula underneath the stuffle and lifting it out. (If you’re worried about the stuffle holding together, it may be easier to use two spatulas — one for the top and one for the bottom.)
- Repeat Steps 6 through 8 for the remaining stuffing mixture. Keep completed stuffles warm in the oven.
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