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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

Resources
1. Stuffing Tips from the National Turkey Federation

48 comments:

  1. And you didn't even mention stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers, stuffed onions, stuffed tomatoes … which can vary enormously and
    come from all sorts of ethnic cuisines! Or Calvin Trillin's satiric example of a fish stuffed with a shrimp stuffed with an olive stuffed with a pimento. Stuffing is such a great art.

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    1. Oh I know Mae. I couldn't possibly cover all stuffed things, lol...Now that you mention it, it may just be an art:)

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  2. I always thought the Pennsylvania term "filling" made most sense of all - the stuffing was meant to fill you up if the rest of the meal was kinda skimpy. Same function rice serves in a traditional Chinese meal (it's usually served last). Anyway, the Bon Appétit link was revealing - they said "dressing" replaced "stuffing" in the 19th century. Probably during the Victorian era, where all sort of words were made less descriptive. Like "limbs" replacing "legs" (the idea being that if one said, Leg, impressionable youth would lose all control; weird). Anyway, really fun post. And for me? Stuffing all the way.

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    1. I really enjoyed that Bon Appétit link also, John. Now that you mention it, I suppose filling does make some sense but the dishes don't usually look very appetizing when they are all "mushed" together. Harry's sells Roast Beef with Filling. Next time it's on the menu, I should take a picture! Thanks for visiting...

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  3. Would it be appropriate to just have stuffing (or dressing) for dinner tonight? Your post has stoked my passion for stuffing, Louise! Now I'm counting the days until Thanksgiving!

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  4. Hi Louise , love this post , sword fish is not easy to find here in northern La. ...so I think I will try this recipe with cod or salmon steaks . I always get a kick out of my family and friends around holiday time asking ... what kind of dressing are you making to stuff the turkey with . There are so many varieties , that you can add or substract to make each your own . Like John said this is truly a fun post and so much you can do with it , thanks for sharing :).

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it Nee. Stuffing is so versatile!

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  5. I'm a huge fan of pork chops and cornbread dressing ANY time of the year!

    (And have you or any of your readers ever experienced dressing/stuffing in pre-portioned patties before? That's how the inlaws do it and I can't stand it.)

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    1. Pre-Portioned stuffing patties actually sounds intriguing, Channon. I'm not sure about preparing them for Thanksgiving though:)

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  6. Cute, Louise. And thanks. It's an unusual recipe, which is why I posted it. I do love stuffing. Like T.W., I'm for serving it without turkey!

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    1. Serving stuffing without turkey sounds just "ducky" to me, Barbara!

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  7. Dear Louise, This post is one of my favorites. You hit it on the head when you were taking about the word stuffing. As a Long Islander, I call it stuffing. But as you said I have heard it called many other words. This was a genius post. Love all of the recipes, especially the "Stuffed Radicchio". I enjoy eating all of those ingredients, so that is a must try right away. Thanks for sharing all of these photos and recipes. Always enjoy visiting your blog, it is exciting to see what you have next on your list! Blessings...Dottie :)

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    1. Stuffed Radicchio does sound good doesn't it Dottie? I hope you make and then invite us all to share!!!

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  8. I love stuffing and these sounds so good especially love stuffed zucchini.
    Other amazing post dear Louise!!

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    1. Barbara's Stuffed Zucchini really caught my eye too, Gloria...

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  9. Louise , I think I'll go with turkey stuffing , cheesecake filling :D I haven't had turkey with all the trimmings yet but we have what you called "relleno" which is a fish or chicken ( or pork , not the whole pig , mind ) stuffed er filled but you need to de-boned it first .

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    1. Turkey stuffed with cheesecake? You sure are on a cheesecake kick Anne. Those minis of yours look delicious! I'd love to see the "relleno" you write about.

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  10. I love stuffing too. The radicchio one is one of my favourites. It goes very well with speck (smoked ham) and prosciutto like you have done. I love the addition of Gorgonzola too!
    Let's do lots of stuffing especially now that it is winter time! Delicious Louise.

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    1. I was intrigued by that Radicchio Stuffed with Prosciutto and Gorgonzola too Alida. We must do lots of stuffing this winter!

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  11. We always called it dressing growing up in Ohio and KY. Now here in Chicagoland, it's stuffing all the way. Doesn't make any difference to me, but yours looks delicious! And I could eat it any time!

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    1. That's makes quite a few of us Pam! Thanks for visiting...

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    1. Doesn't it sound intriguing Geraldine?

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  13. Hi Louise...somehow I do not care for stuffing, maybe because stuffing it was non existing back in Brazil, but looking at these recipes I might start to like it...especially the one with the mushrooms...
    And yes, I am back, with a new name...please come to visit me!
    Have a wonderful week my dear, and again, thank you so much for all the positive thoughts and words...

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    1. Welcome back Juliana! Your new site looks deliciously fabulous! Love the name Color Your Recipes!

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  14. Hi Louise! Somehow I do not care for stuffing, maybe because stuffing was not existent back in Brazil, but I can see myself starting to like it with these recipes, especially the one with mushrooms...
    Yes, I am back with a new name, please come to visit me...
    Hope you have a great week and once again I want to thank you for the positive thoughts and words during this rough time...

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  15. /dear Louise, I love stuffing!! I love it even more the next day, when I am not too tired to eat it. The history of the stuffing is quite interesting. Who would think they were making this in B.C.!
    Thank you as always, blessings dear and hugs, Catherine xo

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    1. Stuffing is one of those dishes I enjoy the next day too, Catherine. Although, I must admit, when I do the cooking, I always enjoy the food more the next day after things have calmed down and guests have been stuffed!

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  16. I love your stuffings Louise! Do you know that we have our turkey and stuffing on Christmas Day? We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Greece, but we have a very similar tradition for Christmas! Have a great day!

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    1. My daughter spent a Christmas in Greece, Katerina and she just loved all the festivities!

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  17. Oh yummy! I love stuffings and stuffed food. There's something so comforting about them.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  18. Wow Louise loved reading about stuffing...I have bookmarked the mushroom recipe....will try it soon :-)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed, Suchi. I can't wait to "taste" the Champignons Farcis:) Please let us know when you prepare it.

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  19. Hi Louise,
    That is some delicious stuffing! Who knows, they are already around in 1800's!
    Thanks for this informative post on stuffing! The only time I really eat stuffings is during Christmas at my sister's place, usually it will be turkey with some delicious stuffing.
    And I still think you have tons of cookbooks!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post, Joyce. I do have one or two or three cookbooks...

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  20. Gosh, I love playing with stuffings! You can really come up with a lot of recipes :)

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    1. That's true, Shirley. Start creating!

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  21. hi louise! for a second i thought both the words 'stuffing' and 'filling' are used interchangeably..now i hv finished reading your post, i suddenly long for some burgers stuffed with some cheese and patties and mayonnaise..good stuff in a burger! great stuffings! tasty fillings! LOL!

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    1. Hi Lena! I still think they are used interchangeably but now I too want a big juicy stuffed burger with all the "trimmings!"

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  22. i've never actually eaten this creation having been baked in the bird, so we don't call it dressing instead of stuffing. regardless, it's delicious.

    my toh feature is in the november issue!

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    1. I'm thinking I may not "stuff" my turkey this year, Grace. I'll "dress" it instead:) I finally found you in Taste Of Home on page 14! You and your pie look GREAT!

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  23. Somehow I think the liver stuffed eggs are never going to be as popular as stuffed turkey...

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  24. I'd never heard of stuffing outside the bird until I started blogging - it was always inside when I was young and ate meat. These days I just love to stuff anything that isn't meat but I keep meaning to try a stuffing dish that is on the outside.

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise

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