One week ago, we gave you the first installment of daily posts in our special Stuffing Showdown, and now I'm here as the so-called celebrity judge to tell you which one of our contributors came up with the tastiest rendition of Thanksgiving stuffing.
But I'm not going to tell you the winner just yet.
Let me back up and describe the scene a couple days before we launched our series. Mid-afternoon on a random weekday, I walked into our conference room to find an amazing holiday spread that consisted of nothing but stuffing -- five different takes on a classic dish that were all surprisingly, deliciously different.
It was tough to choose a favorite.
I asked everyone to tell me a little bit about their creations as everyone heaped their plates with more stuffing than they've probably ever eaten in one sitting.
Nicki Escudero said her vegetarian stuffing used Boca burger meat, and the recipe came from goveg.org. Web editor Jonathan McNamara swapped sage for thyme and upped the sausage content in a Tyler Florence recipe, while Wynter Holden made stuffing jazzed up with Golden Delicious apples, dates, pecans, and bacon (truly, bacon tastes good with everything). Managing editor Amy Silverman added extra onions and used whole wheat bread in her low-sodium Weight Watchers stuffing. And Cheri Biggs shared her special family recipe, fragrant with Parmesan, olives, onions, and mushrooms.
"You should be drunk and arguing to eat it," she said.
Damn, I wish I'd gotten the memo!
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Anyway, we all loved tasting so many interpretations of this holiday favorite. Each one deserved a prize of some sort. But I think the win should go to Jonathan, for his spicy, sausage-filled stuffing.
Who needs turkey? I'd be happy with a plateful of that.