As Thanksgiving draws near, I begin to crave the cornucopia of flavors that make up the November feast. Savory turkey, rich gravy, buttery potatoes, creamy vegetable casseroles, sweet sweet potatoes, tart cranberry sauce… A unique and colorful palette of flavors say “Thanksgiving,” but the largest area of my dinner plate is reserved for dressing (aka stuffing). I love the texture, the quintessential flavor, and, let’s be honest, I love bread.
The dressing I grew up with features crusty bread cubes, spicy fennel sausage, sweet apples and fresh herbs. This year, however, I came across a Bobby Flay recipe I wanted to try, Sourdough, Wild Mushroom and Bacon Dressing.
Because dressing is so important to my Thanksgiving table, I had to test the recipe to ensure it was worthy of the honor. I followed Mr. Flay’s recipe as written, but added chanterelle mushrooms and a good glug of dry white wine. My ideal dressing is moist on the bottom and crunchy on top, and if you’re in my camp I’ll share the trick with you: make sure the mixture is quite wet and cover the dish for the first part of the baking process. (If you prefer a more pudding-like texture, add more eggs.)
The tart, yeasty sourdough bread, salty bacon, meaty mushrooms, sage and lemony thyme proved a huge success, promising to marry beautifully with the roast turkey and all the fixings. I’m also quite certain it will be a wonderful pairing with the wines I plan to serve - our rich, bright, evolved 2007 Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, and vibrant, concentrated 2011 Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (our current release).
Whatever favorites find their way to your Thanksgiving dinner, may you, your families and friends enjoy the best of health, the blessing of gratitude, and perhaps some phenomenal Pahlmeyer wine.