BREAD STUFFING WITH HAM, PINE NUTS, MUSHROOMS, AND FENNEL
Cremini mushrooms have more flavor than regular white button mushrooms, but the latter can be used in this recipe.
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 1 large fennel bulb, fronds and stems removed, bulb chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
• 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
• 1/4 pound thinly sliced smoked ham, cut in half and then crosswise into thin strips
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 12 cups dried French or other white bread cubes
• 1 cup homemade turkey or chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
• 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until soft and translucent, 6 to 7 minutes.Add the mushrooms and cook until the liquid they release has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the basil and pepper and cook for another minute. Transfer the contents of the pan to a large bowl.
2. Add the pine nuts, prosciutto, smoked ham, Parmesan, parsley, and salt to the bowl and mix to combine. Add the bread cubes.
3. Whisk the stock and eggs together in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Gently toss to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Stuffing may be stored covered and reefrigerated for up to one day. Reheat in a microwave safe pan or in a 325 degree oven before stuffing turkey. Place any stuffing that won't fit in the bird in a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Drizzle 1/4 cup stock over the stuffing, dot with pats of butter, and cover with foil smeared with butter. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, remove the foil, and continue to bake until the stuffing forms a golden brown crust, about 15 minutes longer.