Zach Jarrett knows his way around a loaf of bread. The chef of Bub & Grandma’s in Eagle Rock has a new take on stuffing, using the bread made at the bakery. “Stuffing is really about texture and garnishes,” says Jarrett. Look for a bread that is absorbent and can get crispy while remaining custardy when chicken stock is added — a good vehicle for squash, sausage or nuts.
A long soak followed by a good bake, which French toast achieves, is what he looks for in a stuffing. Jarrett pre-soaks bread overnight then tempers it in hot stock and eggs with a long, low-temperature bake. This year at Bub’s, he is baking his stuffing in the 5×5 loaf pans he uses for challah and meatloaf, envisioning a brick of dressing to be doused in gravy and parsley.
Peter Schaner has cipollini onions at his market stand, perfect for a holiday stuffing. A milder flavor than a regular onion, the cipollini has a shorter growing period. The peel is thin and edible so Schaner advises not to bother with the laborious task of peeling them. Rosemary, sage, lemon verbena, and all the aromatics needed for the holidays are available on Schaner’s table.
Nik Sharma has a different take on another traditional favorite. Keeping in mind the vegans at the table, Sharma keeps a creamed corn light and fun.
Kimichi Creamed Corn
This is creamed corn on a flavor fast train with a final destination of Absolute Joy. The sweet corn kernels swim in a rich concoction of coconut milk and kimchi, making it equal parts sweet, savory, salty, and bright. This is a dish you might want to serve with bread on the side to mop up every drop of flavorful sauce. It’s also vegan—and if you invite me over for a Thanksgiving potluck, this is the dish I’ll bring along.
Instructions and Ingredients
In a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 large yellow or white onion, diced, and sauté until it becomes translucent and just starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 4 garlic cloves, minced, and ½ tsp ground turmeric. Cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
Stir in 3½ cups [560 g] corn kernels and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the corn is tender; a kernel should taste sweet and soft without a starchy texture. Stir in 1 cup [240 ml] plain, unsweetened full-fat coconut milk and simmer until the liquid reduces by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
Fold in 2 packed cups (7 oz [200 g]) chopped cabbage kimchi and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and cook until the kimchi is warmed through.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with 2 Tbsp chopped chives or cilantro. Serve hot or warm. This dish can be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container. Warm before serving.
Veg-Table: Recipes, Techniques + Plant Science for Big Flavored, Vegetable-Focused Meals by Nik Sharma. © 2023. Published by Chronicle Books. Photographs © Nik Sharma.