Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stuffing-Dressed (or Dressing-Stuffed) Mushrooms

I am the last person in my family to get through his or her Thanksgiving leftovers. The food was good, at least, and the turkey was delicious if I do say so myself. We didn't eat much, and we did not have all the leftovers we figured we would. Thank God for that!

It's quite easy to find recipes for leftover turkey, leftover vegetables, leftover cranberry sauce, etc. But one thing that is almost impossible to find recipes for is stuffing, aka dressing, which I will use interchangeably.* This staple of many a Thanksgiving meal reared its delicious head in two forms this year, as my grandmother's traditional dressing and my sister's father-in-law's sausage dressing with butter. But Google either "stuffing as ingredient" or "dressing as ingredient" and the only thing you get is 10,000 pages of recipes for dressing and stuffing.

So how the hell do you use it as anything other than stuffing!?!?

One commenter on one Thanksgiving website had a solution. She noted that she uses hers to stuff mushrooms. It's so simple! Just take mushroom caps, stuff them with dressing, and bake them. I baked mine at 350°F for half an hour and that was all. The stuffing is crispier on the top, even if you stick a little piece of cheese in the middle. Fried onions on top are also a good addition. And unless it's a rather big mushroom cap, you need to pop the whole thing in your mouth. Just make sure it cools down a little bit first.

* I'm sorry I keep going back and forth between "stuffing" and "dressing". I have always called it both and used them interchangeably. Technically, it's my Nana's dressing, because it never goes into a turkey - in fact, that is anathema to my family, stuffing a bird with anything. But we also ate so much Stove Top growing up that I've become used to calling it stuffing. I'm not even sure what we call it locally - dressing is more traditionally Southern, and stuffing is more traditionally Northern. And of course, Maryland, being smack dab in the middle, seems to call it both. Native Marylanders specifically, what do you call your dressing/stuffing?