November 23, 2005

All I really want is the stuffing.

Ruth Siems realized that's the way a lot of us feel about Thanksgiving food. RIP, inventor of Stove Top Stuffing. From the patent application:
"The nature of the cell structure and overall texture of the dried bread crumb employed in this invention is of great importance if a stuffing which will hydrate in a matter of minutes to the proper texture and mouthfeel is to be prepared."

Actually, I've never eaten Stove Top Stuffing, but I have a nostalgic feeling about the original TV commercials, even though I didn't enjoy them at the time.

14 comments:

Neil said...

Stove Top Stuffing is like the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese of stuffings, fake and filled with artificial everything, but a childhood favorite that brings back great memories, like a Swanson TV dinner.

bill said...

When it comes to stuffing, I absolutely concur with Alton Brown. If you don't cook the stuffing long enough you've created a bacterial turkey bomb; if you do completely cook the stuffing, the turkey is dry and tasteless.

Alton Brown: Okay, here I go again. Stuffing increases mass. Mass extends cooking time. By the time enough heat gets into the stuffing to cook it and render it safe, the turkey, or a good portion of it, will be overcooked. You want to cook a turkey as fast as you can to minimize juice loss, and the fastest way is without stuffing it. So make stuffing, save your drippings, and stuff it in something else to cook it. Just don't cook it in the turkey. You could cook the stuffing separately and put it in the turkey after the turkey is cooked, or you can definitely take the bird out of the oven and put the stuffing in then. So take the turkey out of the roasting pan, toss your dressing in the drippings, stuff it in the turkey while it rests, and then take it to the table. Stuffing is only evil when it's stuffing. If it's dressing, it's fine.

oldgranny said...

Alton,

Is that really you?

If so, congrats on a great show. It's about the only thing I watch on TV.

Even though I've been cooking for lo these many years, I frequently learn something new and I love learning why things should be cooked a certain way.

Goesh said...

I always baste the bird generously with ghee, which makes for extra rich gravy as well as a very golden, crisp skin. Stuffing cooked in cast iron leaves a bigger crust but really seals in the moisture, in my opinion. You have to make a bit more to compenstate for the thicker crust cast iron yields. The family dog will certainly relish the thick dressing crust.

Nick said...

Hey now... don't go dissing my Kraft Mac and Cheese...and certainly not my Stove Top Stuffing!

Swanson TV dinners... well you can say whatever you want about those.

Blogenfreude said...

Bread crumbs, hot Italian sausage, some sort of broth, fine chopped celery and onion, and a bit of garlic salt. Cook some in the bird, some outside in a pan. Then, who cares about the bird?

Ryan Hatch said...

Chris Hitchens today in the WSJ, on Thanksgiving food:

"Indeed, it is the sheer modesty of the occasion that partly recommends it.... The whole point is that one forces down, at an odd hour of the afternoon, the sort of food that even the least discriminating diner in a restaurant would never order by choice."

I'm having roast beef.

PatCA said...

Alton,
Fie on you and your separate but equal stuffing philosophy!

I've been eating turkey enceinte with bread stuffing, aromatic with sage and celery, for decades! If the turkey's too dry, ladle on an extra dollop of gravy.

bill said...

For the record, I was quoting Alton Brown, HE is not actually responding. Though the formatting does make it look like it. Sorry for the confusion.

Frequent basting is also an overrated and outdated practice. The constant opening of the oven lowers the temperature, the turkey takes longer to cook, so it's more likely to dry out.

But whatever works for you.

sonicfrog said...

Bill said:

" For the record, I was quoting Alton Brown, HE is not actually responding."

You could probably get sued for that!!! :-)

oldgranny said...

sonic frog, Thanks for clearing that up. Hope Alton gets a heads up about Ann's blog.

I've also been cooking stuffing (lightly stuffed) into the turkey cavity, but I make sure it's cold first.

Sigivald said...

Actually, Kraft Mac and Cheese is remarkably "natural". (Stove Top Stuffing has a list of preservatives at the end, but I, for one, have never cared at all if something has BHT in it; it's just an antioxidant.)

(Like those ones health-conscious eco-hippies rave over in their expensive white tea. Only it's cheap and not made in foreign countries by cheap labor. But for some reason they disapprove of it.)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Do you know whether the undertaker will embalm her, or prepare her in a sidedish?

Linda said...

I have some cooking turkey tips, but still it's hard to do it really well...