Spinach Stuffing

When I was a kid, my mom never made bread-based stuffing on Thanksgiving.  She made the recipe below, sometimes in the turkey, sometimes not so much. Once I saw the turkey liver lemon juice in the recipe, I figured it had to have something to do with my father, Pete the Greek. I asked her and, sure enough, it was something his mother (my Yia Yia) made. So she made it for him.

I did not eat much of it then: I had a child’s obligatory revulsion to spinach, but I have since grown to love the stuff.  I am copying this recipe directly from my mother’s recipe, which, I assume, comes straight from Yia Yia. So, you will have to forgive some of the strange phrasings and vague measurements.  My mom (and apparently (Yia Yia) like to leave a lot of room for personal taste and creativity.  Anyway, here goes.

3 packages of frozen spinach
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 Large onions
6-8 stalks celery
Liver of turkey 
1 or 2 eggs
3-5 slices of fresh whole wheat beard and/or wheat germ
Turkey broth
Salt
Pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 bunch parsley
Olive oil

  1. Simmer turkey, gizzard and liver in just enough water to cover until tender. Set liver out to cool.
  2. Defrost frozen spinach and drain. (Squeeze out some liquid) Set aside.
  3. Dry bread out in oven at 200º or less. When hard grind into crumbs (fine). Set aside.
  4. While bread is drying out and spinach defrosting
    • Dice onions and parsley
    • Sauté, in oil, until clear in appearance but still firm.
    • Chop Parsley
  5. In largest mixing bowl combine spinach, celery and onions, parsley, mashed turkey liver, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper, eggs, a little broth, oil, cheese and last just enough bread crumbs and/or wheat germ to hold together lightly. If too dry add more broth, if too loose add cheese and/or wheat germ or bread crumbs. Taste to check seasoning.

This makes enough stuffing to fill both cavities of a large turkey and enough left over for medium size casserole.

Dave note: I bake in a dish at 350º until the stuffing is done in the center.

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