There are, without doubt, numerous tasks to be undertaken in preparation for Christmas lunch. So many that the list seems endless and the tasks, often, overwhelming. This 'rising panic' is what sends us heading to the chilled prepared dishes in our local supermarket. We end up paying a high price for our panic, where if we had just taken some time out we could have solved some of the problems ourselves in a calm and thrifty way.
I always try to get a number of the dishes prepared a few days in advance where possible, and today whilst cooking the Sunday roast I prepared a few additional ingredients to see how difficult it is to 'jazz up' a packet of Sage and Onion Stuffing in to something a little more fit for Wednesdays celebration dinner.
As we were having Beef today and I had picked up a bag of beautiful shallots from the shops this week, it seemed only right that we had caramalised Red Onion with the Beef, so I did a little extra and chopped it up small
A couple of handfuls of Hazelnuts (walnuts would have worked too but Id put the last of those in the Biscuits earlier) along with 12 (ish) dried apricots, both chopped finely.
We stirred the nuts, onions and fruit throught the stuffing mix, before making up the suffing by adding the quantity of boiling water suggested on the packet.
Allowing to stand for five minutes, and then forming in to balls, wrapping in streaky bacon and transferring to a dish, which can be covered and stored in the fridge until Wednesday.
(trim and stretch the bacon rashers with the back of a knife before using)
I did of course, cook a couple of the balls just to check my plan had worked - and they tasted great.
There are all sorts of ingredients you could add to packet sage and onion stuffing mix, including lemon juice and rind, chopped apple, and fresh parsley, you will probably find that you have made up much to much for just one meal, either form into balls and open freeze (these will cook from frozen in about 20-30 minutes) or leave the balance of the mixture in a food bag in the fridge and utilise it to add flavour and 'bulking' ingredients to 'left over' meals