Friday, November 22, 2013

Cornbread stuffing with caramelized onion & sage (low-carb, gluten free!)

Back in August, I posted a recipe for low-carb cornbread made with pureed baby corn along with ground nuts and coconut flour. You can read more about it (and my rationale for giving the nod to baby corn) at the original post here. In short, baby corn is more cob than grain and mostly fiber, so it's a way of adding corn flavor without the nutritional pitfalls of cornmeal. I knew when I made it that I would ultimately make it into stuffing. I've previously made herbed coconut flour stuffing with pancetta and leeks, which I still love, but I think this tastes even more like traditional cornbread dressing.

Stuffing recipes are often dressed up with meat such as sausage or bacon, or fruit, or nuts, but this is actually my favorite kind of stuffing: just some basic veggies and herbs. I added some chopped mushrooms for the textural contrast as well as caramelized onion and sage. Of course caramelized onions take forever to cook, so if you're short on time feel free to just do a conventional saute. I would be confident serving this to company, even those who subsist off a standard American diet. It's that good!

LOW-CARB CORNBREAD STUFFING WITH CARAMELIZED ONION & SAGE
Makes 16 squares

INGREDIENTS

For the cornbread:
  • One 15 oz can baby corn, drained
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour (it's pretty expensive to buy a whole bag so I bought a small bag of chopped hazelnuts in the baking section and ground them myself in a blender)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Softened ghee, butter, or bacon fat for greasing the pan
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Put the baby corn, egg, and vinegar in a food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, hazelnut flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and pulse just enough to combine, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan with the teaspoon of fat. Scrape in the cornbread dough; it will be thick like cookie dough, not a pourable batter. Press down on the top to form an even layer. It is easiest to do this with a rubber spatula, or you can cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, press it out with your hands, then discard the plastic wrap.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
For the stuffing:
  • 1 recipe low-carb cornbread (see above)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced (I used the food processor fitted with a slicing disk)
  • 6 oz (weight) button or crimini mushrooms, stemmed and diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced (my celery was pretty scrawny so I used 6 ribs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs fresh minced sage
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs + extra fat of choice for cooking (I used duck fat, olive oil or ghee would also work)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Cut the cornbread into 1/2" cubes. Spread them out evenly in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, including the crumbs. Bake at 250 degrees for an hour to dry out.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Melt the tablespoon of fat or oil in large Dutch oven over medium head. Add the sliced onion and toss to coat evenly with oil. Cook for a bit on medium until just starting to soften, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until sticky and caramelized and greatly reduced in volume. You may need to add a bit more fat as you cook if the onions start to stick.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat a bit of fat for sauteeing. Add the mushrooms and cook until they just start to give up a bit of liquid. Add the celery and saute until all of the vegetables are softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant and straw-colored. Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a plate to cool.
  5. Grease a 13"x9" pan. Add the dry muffin cubes and the celery-mushroom mixture, including all of the butter and pan juices. You can add the onion too if it's done cooking, but it takes so long that I let it cook while the bread cubes were soaking and added the onion at the end.
  6. Beat the eggs + yolk, combine them with chicken broth, and pour over the bread mixture. Also add the sage and additional salt and pepper to taste. Combine everything with your hands, squeezing and crumbling the bread cubes to ensure that they soak up plenty of liquid. Let soak for an hour. If you hadn't previously added the onion, stir it into the stuffing mixture.
  7. Bake, uncovered, at 400 for about an hour or until the top is browned and crisp.
QUICKER VARIATION: Instead of caramelizing onion, you can just use a cup of chopped onion instead and add it with the mushrooms. You won't use as much raw onion because it doesn't shrink as much if you don't fully caramelize it.

1 comments:

Jules said...

Looks good! do you think I could leave out the mushrooms without much issue? or would that affect the moisture? too runny?

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