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Apple Walnut Stuffing

Yield: About 3 dozen muffins

Portion size: 1/2 cup

This holiday recipe comes from Chef Jim Morse at The Boathouse in Traverse City. Jim is a fourth generation Northern Michigan native and attended culinary school at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Northwestern Michigan College. He started working at The Boathouse as Sous Chef in 2000 and became Executive Chef in 2002. Jim then moved to Siren Hall in Elk Rapids in 2008 where he spent five years as Sous Chef. He returned to The Boathouse as Executive Chef in the fall of 2013.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • 1 cup onion, small dice
  • ½ cup leeks, small dice
  • 4 cups apples, medium dice
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 ciabatta loaf, large dice, dried 1-2 hours
  • 4 ounces walnuts, toasted and crushed
  • 1 pound croutons
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Sweat onions, celery and leeks in butter over medium heat 4-6 minutes or until softened but not brown.
  3. Add apples and cook, stirring often, 6-8 minutes or until apples have softened slightly but retain their texture, remove from heat, add sage and let cool.
  4. Meanwhile whisk eggs in a large bowl until homogenous, add cream, salt and cayenne and whisk.
  5. Combine croutons, bread, egg mixture and stock (as needed) to achieve a cohesive stuffing.
  6. Allow bread to absorb the liquid before adding the remaining stock.
  7. Once apple mixture has cooled enough to handle, fold into stuffing mixture by hand, adjusting consistency with more stock as needed.
  8. Test seasonings by baking a small amount of stuffing, adjust as needed.
  9. Bake as you choose for portion and service style. Options are cake pan, loaf pan or muffin pan.
  10. Spray pan with cooking spray before baking. Cooking time will vary based on pan size.

*Optional additions or substitutions are sausage, bacon or cheddar cheese.