Every year, we sponsor a cooking contest at the Iowa State Fair, which has the largest food department in the nation! Thousands upon thousands of foods are entered, and we feel honored to be a part of this fun event. PLUS, we get to eat really, really good foods, and then get to bring back the recipes to share with you! This recipe was a 1st place winner and tastes AMAZING. This would be a great addition to any holiday feast, but we also think it's great as a side-dish anytime. We'd like to thank Sally Kilkenny, author of this recipe - she is an amazing cook that astounds us with new, delicious herbal recipes every year.
Herbed Pumpkin Mushroom Stuffing
6 cups cubed pumpkin bread
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped red onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms (portabella, crimini, portini,
or your favorite blend)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth*
optional: chopped, toasted pecans**
Spread cubes on a baking sheet and let dry overnight, or heat in a 200 degree oven until dry. Preheat oven to 375 and butter a 2 qt. baking dish.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium/low heat. Sautee celery and onions for about 10 minutes, then add mushrooms and continue cooking for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Add fresh herbs, salt, and papper. Fold in bread cubes and add enough broth to moisten. Transfer to prepared dish and cover with foil.
Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10 minutes, or until top is crisp. Garnish with fresh herbs and pecans.
* vegetarian Maggie suggests a nice vegetable broth as an alternative - Swanson's make a lovely certified organic veggie broth.
** We LOVE the pecans in this - and suggest adding whole, toasted pecans in the stuffing instead of sprinkled on top afterwards.