|Written By Recipe Coordinator|
The 83 annual Academy Awards take place tonight in Hollywood, California. The glitz. The glamour. The stars and the golden statue. It is the biggest night in all filmdom. The Oscars jogged my memory about an article I had read in the New York Times last November during the usual Thanksgiving Day recipe and food coverage. The article detailed a fascinating stuffing recipe found in the personal papers of the late, great film icon Marilyn Monroe.
Unbeknownst to almost everybody, my staff and family included, Marilyn Monroe never was nominated for an academy award. Can you believe this? It appears to me that Marilyn Monroe has so retreated into legend that many people do not remember or even comprehend normal facts and figures about her life on Earth. That really fascinates me. There can be no doubt she was a screen legend. No one can doubt she is a bigger star in death than she was in life. What interests me is the person behind the legend. Did you know her favorite colors were beige, black, white, red? Did you know her social security number was 563-32-0764? Did you know her favorite place to shop was Bloomingdales? Sometimes society and our pop culture in general forget to emphasize the human quality of a megastar. When I originally read the article I was struck at how human Marilyn Monroe really was. She could cook and seemed to enjoy cooking. They later found cookbooks in her home with detailed liner notes in her own handwriting. Now that really fascinates me. Can you imagine the screen goddess Marilyn Monroe at the stove making stuffing? Please!
As you enjoy the Oscars tonight, remember the human factor of everyone involved and hope that they also give us such fantastic recipes. It may not be stuffing time, but this recipe is interesting and can be put away for when you need it. Supposedly the recipe does not include garlic because her late husband Joe DiMaggio did not want garlic in his food. Can you imagine that? I hope you enjoy the stuffing and can honor Marilyn by making it for your family one day. Enjoy!
A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
1/2 pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
1/2 pound ground round or other beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped curly parsley
2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-free poultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon pepper
1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.
2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.
3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.
4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine.
5. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands.
6. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing.
Makes 20 cups, enough for one large turkey, 2 to 3 geese or 8 chickens.
Recipe and photos courtesy of the New York Times. Article originally published 11/10/10. Article authors are Matt and Ted Lee. Photo courtesy of Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times.
Recipe was adapted from the book:
Monroe, Marilyn, Comment, Bernard, Editor, Buchthal, Stanley, Narrator, Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters. New York. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.