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Wild Mushroom Stuffing with Balsamic Bliss Original, fennel and leeks – a tasty vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish that is full of depth and flavour!
- 14 –16 ounces French-bread cut into one inch cubes ( or sub gluten-free corn bread)
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms
- 3/4 cup butter or olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms- shiitake, chanterelles, button, cremini
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced ( optional, sub 1 ½ cups celery)
- 2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only) 2 extra large leeks
- 8 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds – optional
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine –
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Balsamic Bliss Original
Preheat oven to 350 and heat a kettle of water.
Cut bread, place on baking sheet and place in oven (while it’s still warming up) for 15-20 minutes, to lightly toast, or dry out. Set aside.
Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with plate and let stand 20-30 minutes.
Cut mushrooms ( stems OK, except shiitake stems, discard those)
Heat butter over medium high heat in a large heavy bottom pot. Add mushrooms. If butter gets too hot add a splash of olive oil. This will temper it. Stir mushrooms every few minutes or so for 10 minutes. Add leeks, fennel, garlic. Continue cooking another 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add wine. Let this cook all the way down, until it’s completely evaporated. This will take 5-10 more minutes. Be patient. At the same time strain dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Chop and add to the pot.
Once liquid has evaporated, combine this mushroom mixture with cubed bread in a large bowl (or at this point you could refrigerate the mushroom mix (without bread) making it ahead,and assembling the day of).
Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss in the fresh herbs, and enough of the reserved mushroom liquid (or stock) to moisten the bread (about 1 cup). Mix in the beaten egg. You want the bread moist, but not sopping wet.
Pour into a 9×13 inch greased baking dish- bake 40-45 minutes, covering with foil for the first 15-20 minutes. Then uncover, so it turns nicely golden brown and puffs slightly.
Drizzle stuffing with Balsamic Bliss Original just before serving. Decorate with fresh sprigs of rosemary or thyme.