Sunday, November 10, 2013

What's Up With Stuffing?

Why is it that we associate stuffing with Thanksgiving? Well, I do anyway. According to most Thanksgiving "trivia" I've read, it's doubtful stuffing was present at the "first" Thanksgiving. Then there's the question of terminology; stuffing, filling, dressing? Growing up on Long Island, we always referred to it as stuffing. Here in Pennsylvania, it's called filling. I'm still having a hard time digesting that distinction. Down south stuffing is often refined as dressing. To make things all the more confusion, there's the question inside and out. There are those who believe the ingredients on the inside of the bird are called stuffing while the excess of ingredients cooked outside the bird is called dressing. Whew! Why oh why do we call the stuff we stuff in a turkey stuffing, anyway? Thank goodness Bon Appétit has a reasonable explanation. I have food filling recipes to share:)

Before we browse through the above Stuffings book pictured at the top of this post, I would like to share a recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms harvested from a book titled The Delectable Past by "admitted foodie" Esther Bradford Aresty. (and you thought I had a lot of cookbooks:)

Stuffing first made its debut in the 2nd century BC with the Romans. The first documented recipe of stuffing showed up in a Roman anthology of thousands of recipes called Apicius. It is likely they weren't stuffing a turkey, but rather a chicken. The French have also made great use of stuffing through the centuries. Stuffing was labeled "farce" in France. In Victorian England, the word stuffing was changed to "dressing" to reflect a more cultured way of explaining stuffing the empty cavity of an animal with a breaded concoction. About Turkey Stuffing
La Varenne used mushrooms in many recipes, but none surpasses the stuffed mushrooms he introduced to French cookery (Champignons Farcis). He also devised the famous sauce of onions and mushrooms which now goes by the name of Duxelles, but which La Varenne called simply Champignons a l'Olivier. The custom of honoring a man's name in a recipe had not yet begun; at some later point the sauce was renamed for La Varenne's employer, the Marquis d'Uxelles. Just who selected the Marquis for immortality instead of La Verenne is not clear; at any rate it was an injustice.

I have no idea who Mrs. Livingstone is/was but here is her recipe for Stuffed Eggs from A Rage To Nosh.

Stuffed Zucchini is a personal favorite of mine. So when I spied this platter of Stuffed Zucchini over at Barbara's Moveable Feasts, I just had to ask her permission to share them with you today. I'm not telling what makes them extra special in my eyes, you'll have pop over and see for yourself:)

Carole Lalli, former editor in chief of Food & Wine has assembled 45 recipes in her book Stuffings. From the introduction:

There's something about stuffed foods that pleases the child in all of us, as if each dish is the wrapping for a treasure trove inside. What better example than the Thanksgiving turkey, where the stuffing often outshines the bird? Hotly debated, altered only with caution, it is the stuffing that lingers on the palate's memory after the last morsel of pie has been eaten...

I love this recipe for Grilled Stuffed Swordfish. Swordfish isn't an easy fish to find in central PA but I can dream can't I?

Radicchio Stuffed with Prosciutto and Gorgonzola? I may just need to fire up the grill for these bundles of goodness:)

You've been Stuffed! I'll be back on Wednesday with a wordless celebration, of sorts:) Louise

1. Stuffing Tips from the National Turkey Federation