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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Easy Baked French Toast

Easy Baked French Toast

Hello gang! Ready for some French toast?

I do like to think of us as a gang, by the way: we, the writers of this madcap screed, and you, our wonderful readers.

Not a particularly effectual gang, I have to admit, not a gang to strike fear in the hearts of our enemies, et cetera, I certainly wouldn’t rob a bank together, no offense, I’m sure many of you have excellent heist skills.

But just as in the best gangs, I have little nicknames for you all. There’s “Lefty”, the stalwart pastry expert we all called “Righty” before her tragic incident with the Microplane. There’s “Twitcher”, who we trust with our lives but who wouldn’t necessarily be the best pick for delicate knife work . There’s Freckles, Charlie Boy, Other Dave. Oh, and we can’t forget JoJo the Dog-Faced Girl. I think you all know who you are.

We may not ever rob a bank, or do a crime, or engage in hijinks, fol-de-rol or devilry – we may never be Ocean’s Eleven – but I do see us all, one of these days, perhaps in ten or twenty years, looking back fondly at these, the early, funny days of “Nerds with Knives”. A reunion meal, if you will, perhaps a celebratory brunch of some kind. I see us downing fine Bloody Marys, Mimosas, or French Blondes, and tucking into plates of thick, delicious french toast.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent several formative years during your childhood camping, tying knots, and fiddling with your woggle – no sniggering, now, Twitchy –  actually, you know, do check out that link, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word “woggle” used IN CAPS to such an extent on one website. They have a woggle collection made up from woggles all over the world – right, Freckles, get out, you’re just disrupting the gang, there’s nothing remotely funny about the word “woggle”. Close the door behind you please. All the way. Thank you.

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