|Cornbreqad Pumpkin Stuffing Squares with a Side of Tuscan Herbed Roast Pork|
The holiday season is upon us and with that comes tables groaning with irresistible foods of every description. For me it would be all about portion control which can be a difficult task when faced with such taste tempting treats. For my holiday meals next to my favourite creamy whipped mashed potatoes the stuffing steals the show for this Canadian gal.
Now here comes the age-old debate. Is it stuffing or dressing? I have heard this question posed every year since I was born and the answer is...it depends on where you are from. That being said, I will continue to call all of my dressings “stuffing” because that is the term I used growing up and it is ingrained in my soul. I usually bake a stuffing inside the bird but today we are cooking with pork so this recipe is perfect for that with its nice crispy edges and moist interior. Whether you choose to call it stuffing or dressing, dressing or stuffing made with cornbread is a popular side dish for Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays. This one steals the show even for those on a gluten- free diet. Also check out suggested wine pairings below from Anthony Garcia.
If you are looking for a change of pace I urge you to try these cornbread stuffing squares which simply put are the best that have ever graced my kitchen. I used a gluten free cornbread mix, because it is what I could find, which in hind site makes this a perfect side dish for those guests on a gluten-free diet as well. This amazing stuffing is baked in the oven with the addition of roasted sugar pumpkin, air dried cornbread, earthy sage and thyme and then cut into squares....for that portion control. On this day it was served with a side of slow-roasted pork with an herbal paste of rosemary, garlic and sage lightly dripping with an aromatic wine gravy and served with crunchy sea salt roasted fingerling potatoes. To round out the meal an autumnal salad...what more can I say.... but Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. There is so much to be thankful for...
**Cornbread Pumpkin Stuffing Squares**
Recipe from Dean Fearing, Mansion at Turtle Creek
- 1 cup diced pumpkin (from 1 whole small pumpkin)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups diced sweet onions
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sage leaves
- Salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups stale cornbread
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- Parsley sprigs, for garnish
** Herbed Tuscan-Roast Pork**
For the brined pork
- 3 oz. kosher salt (3/4 cup if using Diamond Crystal; 6 Tbs. if using Morton)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 large sprigs fresh sage
- One 3-lb. all-natural boneless pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
- 8 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
7. Make a gravy using the drippings from the roasting pan if you desire.
Serves 6 - 8
As a new feature here on More Than Burnt Toast I would like to introduce you to Anthony Garcia from Online Graduate Programs who has some insightful tips and suggestions for pairing wines from here in the Okanagan Valley with todays Tuscan Pork Roast and Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing Squares.
A Meal Fit for a King
Looking for something to serve with the beautiful roasted pork with after you follow the recipe from this blog? Whether you are a busy student or home cook, serving the succulent herbed pork dish with a wine that will complement and highlight its lovely flavours will help you savour and enjoy it even more. There are also many regional wineries in the Okanagan Valley to choose from when picking something that will really complete your meal beautifully.
Red wines pair particularly well with pork dishes. The best choices for roasts include a pinot noir, which usually has a subtle to moderate intensity and will hold up to the flavours of the herbs. It is a dry most of the time, and usually has an interesting and often herbal finish with flavours such as mint, basil, thyme, cherries, figs, orange rinds, pine nuts, and wild mushrooms. In other words, the aroma and the flavours in a pinot would go perfectly with the earthy herbal overtones in the herbed pork. An example is Quails Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir, produced from Quails Gate Winery. This wine has plum and cherry overtones with a hint of spice. The plum notes will highlight the sweetness of the pork, while the cherry notes will add tanginess to the herbs.
Another red wine for this meal is Sumac Ridge 2004 Cabernet Merlot. This wine has bright fruity tones, a slightly higher than average alcohol content, and rich oaky tones. It is another dry wine, but is much more assertive than the pinot noir. It is a combination of two different types of wine, cabernet and merlot. The Sumac Ridge wine has earthy tones, which will nicely counterpoint the sweet and unpretentious quality of the pumpkin in the stuffing.
Overall, red wines create a bold paring with the rich flavour of the roast and contrast nicely with the sweetness of the pork, and the corn and pumpkin stuffing. However, they can be a bit strong for some diners, who may prefer a lighter white wine with their meal. A fine gewürztraminer variety can be a superb paring for these people.
Gewurztraminer wines are also quite bold, are sweeter than red wines, and even many whites. They have both fruity notes and earthy, mineral notes, and are highly aromatic and lively. Finding a balanced and bold-bodied gewürztraminer is a very versatile wine that pairs well with roasts and spicy foods. A series of wonderful examples are Sumac Ridge gewürztraminers, ranging in date from 2004 to 2010. The floral notes of this varietal are a wonderful match for bringing out the flavours in the cornmeal from the pumpkin stuffing.
Any of these three wine varietals would be wonderful choices for a meal of herbed pork roast and pumpkin cornbread stuffing. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect wine match, but these suggestions should give the epicure a good jumping-off point to create their own taste combinations, and create a meal fit for a culinary king or queen.
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