Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Bread Casserole


I still have chestnuts in my freezer. I didn't want a dessert, I don't know what else to make with chestnuts, and this recipe had a nice, attractive picture on the website I got it from. Then I thought the whole thing sounded too fiddly besides calling for sherry and celery root, things that no normal person just has lying around. This is perfectly good, and is much easier.

For the bread part:

4 cups bread cubes. I cut up some stale baguette slices.
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 T fresh sage, chopped
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Beat everything but the bread until thoroughly mixed. Add the bread and stir. Set it aside until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir from time to time to make sure the bread gets evenly moistened.

For the veggie part:

1 large onion, diced
4 or 5 thick pieces of bacon cut into little bits
2 cups peeled chestnuts
3 ribs chopped celery
1 large green apple, peeled & cubed
1 cup prunes, chopped slightly
3 T minced fresh thyme

cup of water
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

Pre- heat the oven to 350.

Fry the bacon in a large sauce pan or skillet until the fat is rendered out. Add the onions and saute them until they start to get transparent, then add everything else except the water & vinegar. Continue to saute until everything is hot, then add the liquids. Salt & pepper generously, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Put the veggie mix into a casserole dish, top with the bread, firmly press everything down. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the bread has poofed up and is nice and brown on top.


1. If you use frozen or fresh chestnuts in their shells, shelling them will add about 30 minutes to the whole process. You can read my other chestnut post for some instructions on how to do it. Remember to allow a few extra because some of them will be no good and you won't be able to tell until you peel them.
2. Use a pretty cheap balsamic. One of the reasons to simmer the vegetable mix at the end is to cook off the acid in the vinegar so the casserole won't be too tart.
3. The original recipe says to use sherry instead of vinegar and stock instead of water, which I'm sure would be great, but whatever.
4. I bet using real parmesan would be a better idea too, but I used the stuff in the green can, and I have no complaints.
5. But on the other hand, I doubt I would use dry herbs instead of fresh. I draw the line there- I'd sooner do without them altogether and choose some other flavoring agent than use dry when the recipe calls for such a large amount of them.

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