Saturday, October 20, 2012

Potato Dressing

Recently, while daydreaming about this year's upcoming Thanksgiving turkey dinner, my mind wandered to a place, a place with a de-boned, slow cooked, fully stuffed version of the traditional family fare... 

I wanted a unique stuffing recipe to pull this off.  Most stuffings are fully cooked when initially mixed, and just need to be heated through.  I wanted one that would cook along with the bird and hopefully finish after 8 hours of cooking. 

This recipe started as an experiment, a "test run" so to speak.  Based on a "Traditional Potato Stuffing" posted by Kay Johnson on her blog "...and then I ate it!", this version is unique in that instead of using prepared mashed potatoes, I used parboiled and diced potatoes instead.

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook time:  45 minutes
Servings:  8


1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon butter to sauté plus more for topping
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 russet potatoes
3 cups bread, torn into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup of chicken broth

Tip: Slicing potatoes lengthwise allows your potatoes to cook evenly. 

Dice potato halves into 1/4 inch pieces
Fully prepped potatoes


  • Peel potatoes and slice in half lengthwise.  Parboil in salted water for 15 minutes or so until 2/3 done.  Drain potatoes and place in the refrigerator to cool.  Once cool, cut the potato halves lengthwise and crosswise into 1/4" pieces.  Place in a large bowl.
  • In a skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and butter.  When the butter is melted, add onions and celery, sauté until almost softened 3-5 minutes.  Add in the spices, stir and continue to sauté until everything is soft and translucent, about another three minutes.
  • Hand tear the bread into 1/2" pieces. Place in the large bowl with the potatoes. 
  • Add the celery/onion/spice mixture to the potato/bread mixture and toss until incorporated.
  • Pour the broth over the mixture and toss again.  The broth will disappear into the bread.  Remember there is still moisture in the potatoes which will be released as the stuffing cooks.
  • Place all of the stuffing in an oil sprayed baking dish.  Place a few pats of butter on the top.  Leave the tops rough to brown.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until crisp brown on the top.

Recipe Links:

Here's the original "Traditional Potato Stuffing" recipe that served as the basis for this dish.

Here's a link to a crazy slow cooked bird video that inspired my Thanksgiving daydream.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Devil's Cupcakes

The original recipe for these cupcakes came to my in-box as "Coffee Kahlua Cupcakes". Little did I know that it was stolen from Paula Dean before it got to me...  Paula calls her version "Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Cream Filling".
My spin finishes with some dusted on cocoa and tuxedo chocolate covered expresso beans. 

These cupcakes are devilishly good
Prep Time:  25 Minutes
Cook Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  24-30 cupcakes


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coffee Cream Filling:
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup coffee flavored liquor
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Coffee Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee

Combine the dry cupcake ingredients before adding the oil, coffee, and eggs
Method (Cupcakes):
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add oil, coffee, and eggs.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.  Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, for 16-18 minutes.  Let them cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minute.  Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
  • While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the Coffee Cream Filling (see below).  Pipe about a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each cupcake.  A simple plastic straw taped to a piping tip makes easy work of this.
  • Spread the Coffee Buttercream Frosting evenly over the cupcakes and dust the cakes with unsweetened cocoa and garnish with chocolate covered expresso beans.
A quick clip showing filling the cupcakes

Method (Coffee Cream Filling):
  • In a small bowl, whip the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the cocoa powder and whip to incorporate.  Slowly add the liquor and fold in the whipped topping.  Cover and chill.
Method (Coffee Buttercream Frosting):
  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth, then beat in the coffee.

Recipe Links:

Here's the Coffee Kahlua Cupcakes version from the Just a Pinch Recipes website.

Here's the original Paula Dean version.

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