Multi-grain Stuffing with Portobello Mushrooms and Fennel

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Spiel

When I conceived of the idea for a multi-grain stuffing I immediately called Andrea and begged him to come over. As a native northern Italian who had a grandmother who spoiled him with cooking, and as one who has travelled the world eating at the finest restaurants, Andrea knows food.

Like me, he believes, no he knows, that the best food in the world comes from an Italian home. Unfortunately for that, we both live in Los Angeles. Hence, Andrea and I cook together and aspire to replicate, and even outdo, the cuisine we know and miss so much.

Stuffing is the star of American Thanksgiving and I would only let an Italian in the kitchen to help me create it.

The notion for this stuffing was mine, but credit must be given to Andrea who at every step added more butter* against my wishes. We rarely fight, but I held my ground as I know my students and fans want healthier options. But in the end he is the Italian and so his cooking advice must be heeded.

The extra butter was a good choice, I am forced to admit. There are few things better than good bread and butter, and once homemade broth and aromatics and roasted mushrooms and fennel are added…what else do you want in life? This stuffing is a winner.

In fact, once it finished baking, and while we were eating it with our hands (because we couldn’t leave it alone long enough to get a fork), Andrea could not stop repeating, “this is the best thing ever. Not the best stuffing ever, but this is the best THING ever….”

And that is my point. If you were to make this stuffing for your child in the morning, there is no way they would go to school and shoot some other kid in the head that afternoon. There is too much love in it to even allow for that kind of brain activity. This stuffing is capable of ending facebook bullying, spousal abuse and self-hatred. There are no words that truly show love. But food can.

Make food from your heart and share this stuffing over and over again. And when I win the Nobel Peace Prize for it, I will be sure to give Andrea credit for the extra butter and recognize all of you who choose to make the planet better and safer through food.

NOTE: If you substitute cheap sliced bread or make any other short-cut or processed substitution, you will not get the results I am speaking of and you will not help to revolutionize this planet. And if you still use cheap sliced bread, for God’s sake, please don’t tell me about it!

*Butter can be substituted with Duck Fat or Shmaltz for a kosher stuffing.

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