Is it just me, or has the holiday season totally just snuck up on us? Didn’t it just seem like we were buying bathing suits for the summer time? And now we are cozying up in warm layers and baking cookies (and eating them right off the baking sheet, while hovering over the stove…ha!).
You might have remembered me expressing my fear of being asked to prepare a turkey on Thanksgiving in our last blog post. Well, that fear has almost come true. This year, I am in charge of making the coveted stuffing. Don’t most people love the stuffing even more than the turkey itself? Let’s be real.
To prepare for my HUGE responsibility of making the stuffing, I asked my friends Lindsey (from Monterey Mushrooms) and Erika (from Watsonville Coast Produce) to come over to the Cal Giant kitchen to test drive some recipes. Our favorite, by far, was Half Baked Harvest’s Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Stuffing. We had to put our own spin on it (of course), so we added some fresh California Giant blackberries.
What made our stuffing cooking day in even more amazing was the RAIN. Yes, rain. Here in California, we freak out when it rains (in a good way). And let me tell ya, the rain was pounding down on our roof top, while the smell of Thanksgiving poured out of our oven.
I cannot say enough about how easy and delicious this recipe was to make. I had four bowls of the stuff. FOUR BOWLS!! Can Thanksgiving hurry up and get here so I can make it again?!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 to 5 cups baby bella and crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons salt & pepper
1 stick of butter
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 loaf day old sourdough bread, cubed (about 12 cups)
1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1 cup of California Giant blackberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, butternut squash and brown sugar. Cook, stirring often until the butternut squash has softened slightly and the onions are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, and continue to cook until the squash is fork tender (but not mushy) and the mushrooms have caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sage, oregano and time. Cook another 30 seconds and then add the balsamic vinegar and season with salt + pepper. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.In a very large mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and eggs. Add the bread + Asiago cheese and gently toss to coat. Now add the the butternut squash/mushroom mixture and all the butter to the pan. Gently toss to combine with the bread cubes. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish.Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until the stuffing is golden on top. Serve warm.
Do you have a go-to favorite stuffing recipe? I'd love to hear! Sound off in the comments below!