Stuffing is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Well, that and mashed potatoes. Oh, and pumpkin pie! Whatever... you get my drift.
Well, here is a fun twist on traditional stuffing. This recipe not only adds some flare to this classic side, they make it easy to eat 'em on the go. Which is rather convenient in case you have to bounce during dinner. If you knew my family, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.
Anyway... this recipe is so damn tasty, you may be making one more trip to the store this holiday. Sorry.
I prefer making my own bread crumbs. If you wish to do that, you will need about 6 slices of white bread. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch pieces and place the cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
While the bread cubes are cooking, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium fry pan. Add in the diced onions and saute them for about a minute over a medium-high heat. Add in the celery and cook until tender. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
The bread is probably done by now or will be shortly. Remove the toasted bread from the oven but leave the oven running. Transfer the bread cubes to the same large mixing bowl. Line the baking sheet with clean parchment paper and add the cranberries. Bake the cranberries for 15 minutes until they split and ooze.
While the cranberries are cooking, let's brown that butter. Place 1/2 cup of butter in small fry pan and warm it over a medium heat. Be careful, it doesn't take much for it to turn from browned butter to burnt butter. It's a lot less appealing than it sounds! Once the butter has melted and foams up a bit, increase the heat just a bit. You will begin to see amber-brown specks form within the butter on the bottom of the pan. Each time they appear, stir the butter around. Do this until most of the butter is brown and your house smells fucking amazing. Remove from heat.
Let the butter cool down for a minute then add 6 of the sage leaves and the sprig of thyme, stirring so the herbs are completely covered. Let the butter stand for about 5 minutes to become infused with the herbs.
Those cranberries should be ready by now. Remove them from the oven, leaving the oven on, and transfer them to a small bowl. Toss with 1 teaspoon of sugar until coated.
Mince the remaining sage leaves.
Using the large mixing bowl with the bread cubes and veggies, add in the beaten eggs. Stir until all cubes are coated. Add in the browned butter, straining out the herbs. Again, stir until coated. Add the stock and repeat. The cubes should be wet, soft but not soggy.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the sage leaves and mix. Fold in the cranberries.
Fill prepared muffin tins with the stuffing mixture. Make sure to pack the mix in there so that the muffins stay together at the base. If you don't they will fall apart when removing them from the pan.
Bake the muffins in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove and let cool before removing them from the pan.
This recipe should make 12 muffins but I doubled up on mine for extra oomph. Enjoy!