Aussie Stuffing — Apricot and Macadamia Nut Stuffing
Just because us Aussies miss out on a Christmas winter wonderland doesn't mean we have to miss out on all the delicious Christmas fare they have on the Northern side of the planet. Turkeys, hams, pork roasts and rolls all have a place on a hungry Aussie's table and so does its natural companion, stuffing. Stuffing is a mixture of bread, vegetables, aromatics and optional additions to boost the flavour of the bird and to add another delicious course to the table. Stuffing is most often cooked inside the bird to impart flavour and keep the stuffing moist but there are many limitations including safe cooking and serving sizes. Instead, baked stuffing, with some careful "basting", can make delicious, hearty, moist and generously portioned stuffing for the Christmas table.
If you've never tried stuffing before, or its a family favourite but you want to try something new, consider this Aussie Macadamia and Apricot stuffing. It uses the flavour of Australian seasonal staples, macadamia nuts and dried apricots, to imbue a distinctly Australian flavour. Try it out!
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup chicken, vegetable or turkey broth (optional, for moisture)
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a large mixing bowl, combine the fresh breadcrumbs, chopped macadamia nuts, dried apricots, diced celery, diced red onion, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and lemon zest. Add the dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper to the mixture. Toss the ingredients together until well combined.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop and then pour over the breadcrumb mixture. Gently (but thoroughly) mix to coat and bind the ingredients.
3. Transfer the stuffing mixture into a greased baking dish, spreading it evenly. Press it down slightly to ensure a cohesive stuffing.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the stuffing is cooked through. You can test the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the centre; it should come out clean.
5. If you prefer a moister stuffing, you can periodically drizzle broth over the stuffing during the baking process. This step is optional and depends on your preference. It can, however, also add great flavour to your stuffing, especially if you use homemade stock or broth from the meats you're serving alongside the stuffing.
6. Once done, remove the stuffing from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. The stuffing can be served alongside your favorite Christmas roast, such as turkey, chicken, or ham.