Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Asian Grain Stuffing

Asian Grain Stuffing

Bread stuffings are always popular at Thanksgiving. I'll admit they are my favorite thing to eat during the holiday. But some people may not prefer them or forgo them, such as the increasing number of gluten-free eaters.

For them, I offer this delicious alternative: the grain stuffing. It's just as flavorful as bread stuffing and versatile too.

This dish nicely melds traditional Thanksgiving and East Asian flavors. Ginger, garlic and shiitake mushrooms play nicely with butternut squash, sage and pecans.

Asian Grain Stuffing

2 cups of water
1 cup brown rice (or a mixture of other grains like wild rice and brown rice)
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. mild Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
1 sweet onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 tbsp. minced fresh sage
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
Pinch of red chili pepper flakes
4 tbsp. low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup roasted cubed butternut squash (see note at bottom)
1/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and salt, cover and reduce heat to simmer until the rice is cooked, about 40-45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the sausage up with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate. Chop any large pieces into smaller pieces.

3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and increase heat to medium-high. Add onion, celery and carrot and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 7-9 minutes. Remove from pan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the mushrooms, pecans, sage, ginger, garlic and red chili pepper flakes. Sauté until very fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium, then add in the cooked rice, sausage, onion mixture, butternut squash and dried cranberries. Stir to combine and reheat. Serve immediately.

Note: To roast butternut squash, preheat oven to 475 F. Toss 2 cups cubed butternut squash with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, stir squash and roast an additional 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Other Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving Central (all Thanksgiving recipes)

Rye Bread Stuffing

Classic 11-Ingredient Bread Stuffing

Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing

Italian Stuffing

Oregon Stuffing

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