When my husband was in primary school, my mother-in-law bought a cook book that the school had printed to raise money. It’s a lovely collection of handwritten recipes donated by parents and teachers. The recipes were photocopied and then stapled together. Every December this book comes out so the brazil nut stuffing can be made again. The is a delicious and comforting addition to the Christmas meal in the way that stuffing should be with the added bonus of brazil nuts.
Last week I was thinking about recipes for stuffing and decided it would be fun to make one for supper that night. We weren’t having a roast, just a jacket potato and some peas were to accompany the stuffing. I remembered that the primary school cookbook recipe included brazil nuts and I think mushrooms too, but I couldn’t remember anything else. This is my stuffing recipe, inspired by that recipe in the handwritten cookbook. I’m rather obsessed with dried figs at the moment and they made it into the stuffing. The stuffing can be made into balls or just baked in a dish.
The chestnuts I added where vacuum packed, already cooked and peeled. I made the breadcrumbs in my food processer; they took seconds. I have made fresh breadcrumbs before using a cheese grater. It takes a little time, but you get there. You could also just chop the bread finely.
Fig, brazil nut and sage stuffing recipe
a drizzle of oil
20g/¾oz fresh sage
150g/5¼oz dried figs
85g/3oz brazil nuts
150g/5¼oz cooked and shelled chestnuts
25g/ 7/8oz fresh flat leaf parsley
1 large egg
85g/3oz fresh breadcrumbs (2 slices of bread)
zest of a lemon
¾ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
Carbohydrate per serving – 18g
2 roasting tins or an oven dish 22cm/8½” x 28/11” cm
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas mark 6.
2. Peel and finely slice the onion.
3. In a largish saucepan, melt the 45g/1½oz butter and the oil and fry the onion over a medium heat for about three minutes with the lid on.
4. Top and tail the leeks and remove any grit. Slice into 6mm/¼” think coins. Quarter the mushrooms.
5. Remove the sage leaves from the stalks and finely chop the leaves, discard the stalks.
6. Add the leeks, mushrooms and sage to the onions and stir well. Cook with the lid on for about ten minutes, until the leeks and mushrooms are cooked.
7. Quarter the figs. Roughly chop the brazil nuts and the chestnuts.
8. Remove any thick stalks from the parsley and chop the remaining stalks and the leaves.
9. Whisk the egg. Now add the figs, nuts, chestnuts, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the saucepan and mix well.
10. You can either now roll the stuffing into balls or just spoon it into a dish.
11. If you want to make stuffing balls, roll balls about the size of a golf ball. Use the 12g/½oz butter to grease a roasting tin or two. Place the balls on the tray and bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly browned.
12. Or use the 12g/½oz butter to butter an oven dish. Spoon the stuffing into the dish and push it down into the dish.
11. Bake the stuffing in the oven for 25 minutes until lightly browned on the top. Serve hot.
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