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Wild Mushroom Stuffing with Fennel and Leeks

Wild Mushroom Stuffing with fennel and leeks -  a tasty vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish that is full of depth and flavor flavors.  Vegan adaptable! #stuffing #vegan #mushroomstuffing #vegetariansidedish #thanksgivingsidedish

Wild Mushroom Stuffing with fennel and leeks –  a tasty vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish that is full of depth and flavor flavors.  Vegan adaptable!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and heat a kettle of water.
  2. Cut bread, place on baking sheet and place in oven (while its still warming up) for 15-20 minutes, to lightly toast, or dry out. Set aside.
  3. Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with plate and let stand 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cut mushrooms ( stems OK, except shiitake stems, discard those)
  5. Heat butter over medium high heat in a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven. 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 and optional fennel seeds. Continue cooking another 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add wine or stock with a teaspoon of vinegar). 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher 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.
  9. Pour into a 9×13 inch greased baking dish and bake 40-45 minutes, covering with foil for the first 15-20 minutes. Then uncover, so it turns nicely golden brown and puffs slightly.
  10. Scatter with fresh sprigs of rosemary or thyme
  11. Notes: You can keep this gluten-free by using gluten free corn bread. You can “beef this up” by adding cooked sausage to this when combining with the bread, perhaps reducing the salt a little. Also, you can make this without the dried mushrooms, and sub stock for the “mushroom water”- but the dried mushrooms do seem to boost the mushroom flavor. You can cut back on oil or butter- I tried this ( using ½ cup) and it was just ok, not quite as good. Traditionally, it calls for a cup of butter, so ¾ cup is slightly less. 😉 To keep this vegan, use “egg replacer” like FOLLOW you HEART Vegan Eggs.

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