I always make “stuffing” every year, even though I don’t actually stuff it in anything. I have lots of different variations, but this year, I wanted to make something a little extra special. I found Opal apples when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s, so I picked up a few of them and decided to pair them with white wine, sourdough bread, and Aleppo chiles. This is the result.
1 yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 Opal apples, cored and diced (you can also use Golden Delicious)
4 small stalks of celery, sliced about 1/8″ thin
1/3 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of walnut pieces
6 cups of cubed sourdough bread
1/4 cup of white wine (a white table wine or pinto grigio works well)
1 teaspoon of crushed Aleppo chiles (or chiles of your choice like ancho)
Before Starting: Make this in at least a three quart pot. Dice the apples while the onion is cooking so that they don’t turn brown.
Over medium heat, saute the apples in the oil until they just turn soft, with just a hint of browning, about 7 minutes. Stir the onion occasionally, not constantly, or else you will prolong the cook time. Add the celery, apples, walnuts, and about half the salt. Cook this until the apples and celery just turn soft, about 3 minutes.
“None of the ingredients cook very long. For the onion, that’s because overly browning them will make them overpower the apple. For the apples, it’s so they still have a little bite. For the bread, it’s so it doesn’t get too soggy.”
Add the bread and stir it until it absorbs all the small amount of liquid in the pot, for about 1 minute. Pour the wine into the pot and quickly stir everything together until the bread has absorbed all the wine. Add the remaining salt, stir, and remove the pot from the heat.
“You need to work quickly once the wine goes into the pot so that it gets evenly distributed into the bread instead of being absorbed by just a few cubes.”
After you plate the stuffing, sprinkle crushed Aleppo chiles on top.
“I get crushed Aleppo chiles from Penzey’s, which is a national chain of spice stores. Aleppos have a mild heat and a ton of good chile flavor. If I don’t have Aleppos, I usually substitute crushed ancho or crushed guajillo.”