November 21 is the ideal day to join in National Stuffing Day as Thanksgiving day is right around the corner, and we are already thinking about the delicious turkey stuffing that is a traditional part of Thanksgiving dinner.
Whether the cook chooses to stuff the bird with crusts of bread, onions, celery, herbs and spices or prefers to prepare a similar dish along side the turkey using the drippings to moisten the dish is personal preference. The difference is the first is called a stuffing, but the latter is referred to as a dressing.
The usual turkey stuffing consists of bread cubes or crumbs combined with onions, celery, salt and pepper along with spices and herbs such as summer savory, sage or poultry seasoning. Other varieties include adding sausage, hamburger, tofu, oysters, egg, rice, apple, raisins or other dried fruits.
The first known documented stuffing recipes appeared in the Roman cookbook, Apicius “De Re Coquinaria”. Most of the stuffing recipes in this cookbook included vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and spelt (an old cereal) with some of them also including chopped liver and other organ meat.
In addition to stuffing the body cavity of poultry and fish, various cuts of meat are often stuffed once deboned and having a pouch or slit cut in them. A few examples of other meats that are frequently stuffed include pork chops, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken breast, lamb chops and beef tenderloin.
Stuffing isn’t limited to the butcher block. Vegetables are excellent containers for stuffing. Peppers, tomatoes zucchini and cabbage are just a few of the shapely veggies that make stuffing a fabulous part of your meal.