Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel

Stuffing with Apples

Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel

Our Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel is so good, we make it for (our friends and family demand it for) Thanksgiving every year. Like a savory bread pudding, it’s moist and flavorful in the middle, with crispy brown sides and top. The flavor combination of rich breakfast sausages, sweet apples and fennel make this the Thanksgiving side dish we just can’t do without. 

Yes, we call this Thanksgiving “stuffing”, but several years ago we realized that actually stuffing a turkey is a losing battle. First, it causes the turkey to take longer to cook. This means the white meat will definitely dry out before the stuffing reaches a safe temperature. Not only that, but all the delicious drippings that we want to go into the gravy get soaked up by the bread (which just gets soggy). But don’t fret, you lovely Nerdlings, we’ll show you how to make stuffing so moist and flavor-packed, it doesn’t even need gravy. (You should drizzle gravy on the stuffing anyway because gravy is delicious and you deserve it.) 

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French Onion Strata – a savory bread pudding

French onion strata

The flavors of French onion soup transported into a hearty, cheesy strata. The heart of bread pudding paired with the soul of a classic soup – synergy on a plate.

We’re big fans of bread pudding of almost every stripe. With one basic method and either a savory or a sweet set of ingredients, you can throw together a wide variety of dishes with bread, eggs, and milk: the framework. We generally reserve the term “bread pudding” for a sweet variation, and “strata” for the savory version where there’s usually more eggs involved. It works so well, for the last few years we’ve exclusively used a strata as a Thanksgiving-day stuffing. We liked the technique so much, we wanted to find out what else we could do with it.

French Onion Strata - a savory bread pudding
Cheesy, gooey deliciousness.

Note: This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats. You can also find this recipe, and many other great ones on their site.

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Strata with Corn, Scallion and Cheddar

Corn, Scallion and Cheddar Strata

A strata, or bread pudding, is one of the best options when you want all the breakfast things in one pan. Our version is made with fresh corn, chopped scallions, and cheddar. Best part? You can have it any time of day, not just for breakfast!

We had only lived in Beacon for about six minutes before Matt decided he wanted to build a coop and raise chickens. Being a born and raised New York City girl (whose idea of the “country” was the slightly less organized part of Central Park), I thought he was nuts. Well, I know he’s nuts but I that’s pretty much why I married him. I still thought raising chickens would be … unwise for two people who had lived the rural life for all of a millisecond. [Matt says: Speak for yourself, city girl, you know where I grew up, every set of directions included the step, “Turn left at the first cow, and if you reach the second cow, you’ve gone too far”]

Now I can admit it. I was wrong. Not only have the chickens been awesome, they’re also the easiest of our animals to take care of and they contribute to the household by laying delicious, fresh eggs. In fact, they lay so many damn eggs that using them up is actually the most difficult part of keeping them. [Matt is holding a shovel and a large bag of chicken poo and shaking his head sadly for some reason.]

Nerd alert: I’ve come to realize that chickens are hilarious so let’s have a chicken caption contest. Write in the comments what you think each chicken is thinking.

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