Sassy Holiday Dressing with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

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This year for Thanksgiving we got two assignments: to bring back last year’s sinful root vegetable gratin and a dressing. Since we can’t ever seem to take the simple route, we decided to spice up our dressing with a few of our current favorite ingredients, pine nuts and pomegranate. The pine nuts provide an underlying nutty richness and the pomegranate adds a tart, crunchy counter balance to the the usual savory suspects. The result tastes just like the traditional dressing we all remember, with just enough twist to distinguish this one from the year before, and the year before that, and the…. you get the picture.

Ingredients:
1 package unseasoned bread stuffing, or 1 loaf of stale bread cut into 1″ cubes (we recommend baking the cubes for 10-15 minutes at 300˚ to dry them out)
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 pink lady apple, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 pomegranate (plus more for garnish)
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 tsp. red peppper flakes
2 tsp. fresh thyme
2 tsp. sage, chopped
1/2 cup parsley
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 stick butter, cut into thin slices

In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery and red pepper flakes in a tbsp. of butter until tender. Then add the apple and sauté for a few minutes more. Add the garlic and cook until tender. Toss in the sage and thyme, then deglaze the pot with the white wine. Reduce the wine for a couple of minutes, then add the broth and mix well. Remove the pot from heat and add the spices, parsley, pine nuts, pomegranate and bread cubes. Using a large spatula or wooden spoon, gently turn the mixture in the pot until the bread cubes have evenly absorbed the liquid (if you’re overly vigorous the cubess will disintegrate). Once combined, carefully pour the mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Top with the thin slices of butter and bake in a 350º oven for 30 minutes or until golden on top. We finished ours at 375º for the last 10 minutes to get the top extra golden and crispy, but we’re OCD weirdos – feel free to set it and forget it. Top the dressing with chopped parsley and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds before serving – the bright red and green colors are the perfect holiday combination!

Bonus Recipe! “ImMorel Gravy”

We made our dressing recipe last night as a trial run before Thanksgiving, and served it alongside a simple roast chicken breast and steamed green beans. Whenever we roast meat in a pan, it’s become almost mandatory that we make gravy with the drippings. This gravy is about as decadent as it gets, combining the concentrated umami flavors generated in the bottom of a roasting pan with an extra-dark roux and a healthy dose of dried morel mushrooms. If you’re ever looking to knock some socks off with a gravy, this is the one to do it with.

Ingredients
1/2 oz. dried morel mushrooms
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
Pan drippings from a roast
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock

Bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat. Rehydrate the morels in the stock for 10-15 minutes, or until very tender. Once rehydrated, lightly rinse the mushrooms to remove and excess dirt, then finely mince and set them aside. You may need to filter the stock after rehydration, depending on how much dirt is inside of the cavities of the mushrooms – make sure to check your stock for sand and dirt before pouring into your roux.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in the roasting pan itself, or scrape the drippings into a separate pan. Add the flour and stir constantly until the mixture turns a deep caramel color and smells rich and nutty. Add a 1/4 cup of stock and the white wine and combine with the flour, slowly adding more stock as the wine cooks off and the gravy thickens. This step is more art than science – take it slow and monitor closely. If there isn’t enough liquid, the roux will seize up into a gluey mess and can lead to lumpy gravy (good album, bad eats). Continue adding chicken stock until the gravy reaches the desired thickness. Add the minced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.

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One thought on “Sassy Holiday Dressing with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

  1. WOW – that looks amazing!!!!!!  So happy to see a post from you love birds.:)  Monica

    From: awinkandapinch To: monskov@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2014 2:34 PM Subject: [New post] Sassy Holiday Dressing with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate #yiv4553706316 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4553706316 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4553706316 a.yiv4553706316primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4553706316 a.yiv4553706316primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4553706316 a.yiv4553706316primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4553706316 a.yiv4553706316primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4553706316 WordPress.com | awinkandapinch posted: “This year for Thanksgiving we got two assignments: to bring back last year’s sinful root vegetable gratin and a dressing. Since we can’t ever seem to take the simple route, we decided to spice up our dressing with a few of our current favorite ingredi” | |

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