Grandma’s Stuffing Balls

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There’s magic in recipes handed down through generations. Each dish tells a story, paints a picture of a time gone by, and is infused with memories of shared laughter, festive tables, and cherished moments. Such is the story of my grandmother’s celebrated stuffing balls. They’re not just a delectable treat; they are history, culture, and love rolled into bite-sized delights.

The Origin and Evolution

Most people are familiar with traditional stuffing or dressing, usually prepared as an accompaniment to a grand Thanksgiving turkey or a Sunday roast. This dish, which has various versions across the globe, essentially involves stuffing a mixture of bread, herbs, and other ingredients inside poultry or meat. The origins of stuffing date back to the Roman Empire, where recipes have been found in ancient cookbooks. While the basics of stuffing have remained consistent, regional adaptations and family tweaks have given birth to numerous varieties.

In our family, the departure from the casserole dish to individual stuffing balls was a creative twist introduced by my grandmother. They were her answer to the age-old struggle of achieving the perfect balance between a crispy exterior and a soft, flavorful core. Their bite-sized nature made them an instant hit at family gatherings, and soon, they were no longer reserved just for Thanksgiving. They became a favored side dish, accompanying not only turkey but also roasted chicken, pork chops, and even steaks.

Grandma’s Stuffing Balls: A Deeper Dive

Before delving into the recipe, let’s understand the ingredients and their significance:

  • Low-Carb Bread & Cornbread Stuffing: The blend of these two ensures a balanced texture and flavor. While traditional stuffing primarily uses white bread, the introduction of cornbread adds a touch of sweetness and a crumbly texture.
  • Celery & Parsley: These add a fresh, earthy flavor. Celery, with its slight peppery note, and parsley, with its grassy taste, complement the richness of the breads.
  • Ground Sage & Thyme: Herbs are the essence of any stuffing. Sage brings a piney flavor with hints of citrus, while thyme offers a subtle, dry aroma.

Serving Suggestions & Variations

While these stuffing balls are delicious on their own, their versatility allows for a plethora of pairings and variations:

  • Dips: Consider serving them with gravy, cranberry sauce, or a creamy aioli. This adds an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • Variations: For a vegetarian version, consider replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth. You can also incorporate diced mushrooms, grated cheese, or finely chopped nuts for added texture and flavor.
  • Drink Pairings: These stuffing balls pair wonderfully with a range of beverages. A crisp white wine, apple cider, or even a light beer can complement their savory taste.

In Conclusion: Beyond the Recipe

Every time these stuffing balls are prepared, they’re more than just a dish; they are a journey, a reminder of shared stories and familial ties. As with all recipes passed down, there’s an unspoken invitation to add your own touch, to continue the legacy, and to make it a part of your family’s lore. It’s not just about the act of cooking; it’s about keeping memories alive, one stuffing ball at a time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped Celery
  • ½ cup freshly chopped Parsley
  • ½ tbsp Ground Sage (the good ol’ Western touch!)
  • 1 ½ tsp Dried Thyme Leaves
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt (because, quality!)
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 6 cups Low Carb Bread (toasted and chopped up)
  • 6 cups Cornbread Stuffing (because, what’s more American than cornbread, right?)
  • 1 large Egg (give it a light beat)
  • 1 can Chicken Broth (for that homey flavor)

Here’s How We Roll (literally!)

  1. Heat things up: Fire up that oven to 375°F, and get it all toasty.
  2. Pan prep: Grab your baking pan and give it a nice spray-down with some nonstick spray. We don’t want our precious balls stickin’ now, do we?
  3. Onion time: Slap some butter into a big ol’ skillet and get it sizzlin’ at a medium heat. Throw in those onions and let ’em sauté till they’re soft and smellin’ like heaven (around 10 minutes should do the trick).
  4. Add the greens: Now, toss in that chopped celery. Mix in the parsley, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir it often and let it mingle for about 5 minutes. Then, give your stove a break and take it off the heat.
  5. Bread bowl: In a big mixing bowl, throw in your toasted low-carb bread and cornbread stuffing. Mix ’em up good.
  6. Wet ‘n mix: Now, add that beaten egg and about ¾ cup of the chicken broth. Stir it all up real good.
  7. Veggie dump: Pour in the sautéed onions, celery, and all them tasty seasonings.
  8. Roll ’em up: Get your hands in there and roll out some small stuffing balls. Lay them out on your prepped baking sheet.
  9. First round of bakin’: Pop those bad boys into the oven for about 20 minutes.
  10. Broth bath: Pull ’em out gently and drizzle the rest of that chicken broth over the top. It’s like a spa day for your stuffing balls!
  11. Last bake: Slide ’em back in for another 15 minutes.
  12. Chow down: Once they’re golden and perfect, take ’em out and enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Lesley

    I was excited to see no onions in the ingredients list because my hubby is allergic to them but ihey were in the instructions . Yes, I know I can leave them out (sadly because I love onions) but if I were to make separate batches, how much onion would I use??

  2. wes shaw

    My husband hates onions so I do a separate batch for.. I prefer using minced onions, just sprinkle to your liking. I use ground pork or chicken

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