With my mother now living nearby, for the first time in about 20 years we celebrated Christmas at home. We retrieved the tree from the loft and decorated it and by some miracle the fairy lights worked. With just three of us for dinner we settled on a large chicken, but to make it more Christmassy we decided to make a stuffing. I grabbed a recipe from the BBC Good Food website and it turned out rather well. So well in fact that we thought we would enjoy the stuffing as a meal on its own.
I like to make our own sourdough bread and there is often the end of a loaf left over. Not enough for lunch with soup, but rather too much to just throw away. Occasionally we will use it in a topping for baked fish au gratin but a new recipe to use breadcrumbs would be useful.
Last night I made the stuffing balls again. I made half of the original recipe, adapting it a bit to use dried parsley as the fresh isn’t growing in the pot on the patio and I’d used the last of that at Christmas. I served it on a bed of curly kale, and topped it with a little sweet chilli sauce.
1 large onion, chopped very finely
25g butter or coconut oil
25g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
70g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
100g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs – I used wholemeal
1 heaped teaspoon freeze dried parsley – you could add more
zest of half a lemon
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Small saucepan crammed with chopped curly kale
squeeze of lemon juice
drizzle of good oil – I used flax seed oil, but extra virgin olive oil would be fine too.
Dice the onion really finely, melt the butter or coconut oil and slowly fry the onion until it starts to caramelise. Meanwhile make the breadcrumbs, chop the nuts and apricots. Mix all of these in a bowl with the parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Once the onions are ready add them in too. Finally add the egg and mix it all together. Form the mixture into about eight balls and place in a shallow dish. Drizzle them with half a tablespoon of olive oil and place in the oven at 180C fan.
Now prepare the kale, chopping it into small pieces if it isn’t already and putting about 1cm of water in the bottom of the pan. When the stuffing balls are starting to brown on the top (about 15 mins) put the pan of kale on the hob. Remove the stuffing balls from the oven, turn them carefully and drizzle them with the remaining half tablespoon of oil. Return them to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. This is about how long it will take the kale to reach boiling and cook. Drain the kale and sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of oil. I used flax seed for the Omega-3 fatty acid content. Squeeze in some lemon juice and stir it round. Divide it between two warmed plates and top with the stuffing balls. A little sweet chilli sauce, ketchup or relish sets it off nicely, but don’t smother it.