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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jun Belen's Thanksgiving Essential: Stuffing Balls

Posted By on Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 12:55 PM

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SFoodie's series asking some of our favorite San Francisco food people about the dish they just can't celebrate Thanksgiving without.

My very first Thanksgiving dinner was at Carrows, off the Strip in Las Vegas. I was a penniless graduate student at the time, fresh off the boat, and the $11.99 all-you-can-eat special sounded so enticing.

My very first turkey was, sadly, as dry as a bone and forgettable but it was the turkey stuffing that made the meal memorable. Perfectly cubed white bread, loaded with butter, flecked with onion and celery bits, and soaked in gravy. I've always made the same simple stuffing for Thanksgiving year after year ever since ― baked in a pan ― until I met my partner, Dennis, who introduced me to stuffing balls. Forming the stuffing into balls roughly the size of a kid's clenched fist is plain genius. It has the perfect crunch-to-moisture ratio. It's lightly toasted on the outside but inside it's wonderfully moist. It's like the stuffing I had at Carrows but even better. Recipe after the jump.

click to enlarge JUN BELEN

Jun Belen's Stuffing Balls

Sauté finely chopped onion and celery in butter and spoon over dried white bread. Dust with poultry seasoning. Whisk an egg in chicken stock and pour over the stuffing until it is moist enough to form balls that hold together. Bake at 375˚ F until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Jun Belen is a food photographer, food writer, and the creator of Jun-Blog, a collection of Filipino recipes, photographs, and narratives about cooking Filipino and being Filipino away from home. The blog has been featured in Saveur magazine's "Best of the Web." He lives in San Francisco with his partner, Dennis, and their corgi, Stanford.

Other Thanksgiving essentials in this series:

-Jonathan Kauffman's Brussels sprouts with prosciutto

-John Birdsall's braised turkey legs

Follow us on Twitter at @sfoodie.

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Jun Belen

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