Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Prep

½ cup pitted dried prunes, chopped
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup (60ml) sherry
6 slices day-old bread of choice, cubed
½ cup (70g) broken walnuts
½ cup (70g) blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 tart apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 firm ripe pear, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 clementine, coarsely chopped, incl. skin (or a few kumquats)
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • The night before, combine chopped prunes and apricots with sherry and let soak (macerate) overnight in a small bowl. Leave the bread out overnight to dry.
Then tomorrow:
  • Cut the bread into cubes and leave out to dry more. 
  • In a large frying pan, on low heat, dry toast the walnuts and almonds, gently tossing them around for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 
  • Turn heat up and olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and celery. Sauté 5 minutes. Add apple and pear and cook for 3 minutes. 
  • Remove pan from heat. Stir in kumquats, parsley, sage, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add bread cubes, chopped nuts, and the dried fruit with its soaking liquid and toss until well mixed. 
  • Spoon the mixture into a baking dish, add the stock until it reaches the top.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and crisp off the top for 20 minutes.

Merry Christmas!

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