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Baked Stuffing Balls

Delight Your Taste Buds with MeeMaw’s Baked Stuffing Balls

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Prepare to embark on a culinary journey filled with warmth and nostalgia as we unveil the recipe for MeeMaw’s Baked Stuffing Balls. These delightful morsels are a cherished family tradition, brimming with the comforting flavors of onions, celery, sage, and thyme. Perfectly seasoned and baked to golden perfection, these stuffing balls are a beloved addition to any holiday feast or special occasion. Join us as we delve into the heart of this beloved recipe and learn how to recreate MeeMaw’s magic in your own kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 10 cups white or whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and celery, and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Season the onion and celery mixture with salt, black pepper, dried sage, and dried thyme. Stir well to combine, and let the mixture cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and chicken broth together until well combined.
  5. Add the cubed bread to the bowl, along with the cooked onion and celery mixture and the chopped fresh parsley. Mix everything together until the bread is evenly coated with the egg mixture and the herbs are distributed throughout.
  6. Using your hands or a spoon, shape the stuffing mixture into golf ball-sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake the stuffing balls in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  8. Remove the stuffing balls from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Bread Options: While traditional white bread is commonly used for stuffing balls, you can also use whole wheat bread for a healthier twist. Experiment with different types of bread, such as sourdough or cornbread, to add unique flavors and textures to your stuffing balls.
  • Fresh Herbs: If you have fresh sage and thyme on hand, feel free to use them in place of the dried herbs for an extra burst of flavor. Just double the amount of fresh herbs called for in the recipe.
  • Make-Ahead Option: You can prepare the stuffing mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake the stuffing balls. This makes it convenient for holiday meals or dinner parties when you want to save time on the day of the event.

Variations to Explore:

  1. Sausage and Apple: Add cooked crumbled sausage and diced apples to the stuffing mixture for a sweet and savory twist on traditional stuffing balls. The combination of juicy apples and savory sausage adds depth of flavor and texture to the dish.
  2. Cranberry and Pecan: Mix dried cranberries and chopped pecans into the stuffing mixture for a festive touch. The tartness of the cranberries and the crunch of the pecans add a delightful contrast to the soft and savory stuffing balls.
  3. Mushroom and Spinach: Sauté sliced mushrooms and chopped spinach with the onions and celery for a vegetarian-friendly version of stuffing balls. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms and the freshness of the spinach elevate the dish to new heights of deliciousness.
  4. Cheese and Herb: Fold grated cheese and finely chopped fresh herbs into the stuffing mixture for an extra indulgent treat. Cheddar, Gruyère, or Parmesan cheese pair beautifully with the savory herbs and add a rich and creamy texture to the stuffing balls.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use store-bought bread cubes instead of cubing my own bread? A: Yes, you can use store-bought bread cubes if you prefer. However, homemade bread cubes tend to have a fresher flavor and better texture. If using store-bought bread cubes, be sure to check the ingredient list for any added preservatives or artificial flavors.

Q: Can I freeze the stuffing balls before baking them? A: Yes, you can freeze the uncooked stuffing balls on a baking sheet until they are firm, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for long-term storage. When ready to bake, simply place the frozen stuffing balls on a baking sheet and bake them according to the recipe instructions, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time as needed.

Q: Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth? A: Yes, you can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth if you prefer a vegetarian version of the stuffing balls. Vegetable broth adds a rich and savory flavor to the stuffing mixture without the need for meat-based broth.

Q: Can I make gluten-free stuffing balls? A: Yes, you can make gluten-free stuffing balls by using gluten-free bread cubes in place of regular bread. Be sure to check the labels of all ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free, including the chicken broth and any additional seasonings or add-ins.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Low-Carb Option: To make a low-carb version of MeeMaw’s Baked Stuffing Balls, you can use almond flour or coconut flour in place of bread cubes. Substitute an equal amount of almond flour or coconut flour for the bread cubes and adjust the amount of liquid (eggs and broth) as needed to achieve the desired consistency. You can also add low-carb vegetables such as diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach to the stuffing mixture for added flavor and texture.
  • Keto-Friendly Version: For a keto-friendly version of MeeMaw’s Baked Stuffing Balls, use almond flour or coconut flour as the base and substitute low-carb sweeteners such as erythritol or stevia for the sugars. You can also add keto-friendly ingredients such as cooked crumbled bacon, chopped pecans, or shredded cheese to the stuffing mixture for extra flavor and fat. Be sure to adjust the ingredients and proportions accordingly to maintain the proper balance of flavors and textures.

In conclusion, MeeMaw’s Baked Stuffing Balls are a beloved family recipe that brings joy and comfort to any gathering. With their savory blend of onions, celery, herbs, and spices, these stuffing balls are a delicious accompaniment to holiday feasts, Sunday dinners, or any special occasion. Whether you enjoy them as a side dish or a standalone appetizer, these flavorful morsels are sure to delight your taste buds and warm your soul.

So why not add a touch of MeeMaw’s magic to your next meal and delight your loved ones with these delectable stuffing balls? With their simple ingredients and easy preparation, they’re sure to become a new family favorite. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor the comforting flavors of MeeMaw’s Baked Stuffing Balls. Enjoy!

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