My late sister made this incredibly delicious stuffing for the first time at our Thanksgiving celebration in 1991. She still lived in Tesuque, New Mexico, and we had a wonderful time visiting her there. I have great memories of that particular holiday. Over the years I made the dressing even when my young children (and who can blame them?) turned up their noses at the nontraditional ingredients found in the recipe.
Now, it is a ritual for me to make this dish. I think of my sister while I make it, think about the fun we had making it together for the first time, and really, that is all I require of it. The fact that it is absolutely delicious is a bonus!
I have taken a few liberties with the original ingredients. I substituted red peppers for green because green peppers do not agree with me. Why I can't eat them and love all the other, hotter peppers, is a great mystery to me.
Also, I have substituted craisins for raisins. The taste and color are more appealing to me.
Recipes are "suggestions", really. Play around with this one and "tweak" it to satisfy your own palette.
My sister would expect nothing less from you!
Priscilla’s Tesuque Pinon Dressing
(this recipe is adequate for a 10-12 pound turkey)
1/3 cup craisins
1/3 cup tequila or mescale
2 large red peppers
2 green chilis (or one small can chopped green chili)
1 large chopped onion
1 or 2 minced garlic cloves
½ cup butter
4 cups dry bread crumbs
2 T minced cilantro
1 teasp salt, or to taste
¾ tsp dried oregano (or 1 Tablesp fresh)
½ tsp chili (I use chipotle or ancho for a smokier taste)
½ tsp dried sage (or 1 Tablesp fresh)
ground pepper to taste
1 cup pinion nuts, lightly toasted
Soak craisins in tequila or mescale for at least 30 minutes. Roasts and char skins of peppers, close in small paper bag and steam for 10-15 min. Peel and remove seeds, pat dry, and chop coarsely. Drain craisins and discard tequila.
Melt butter in large skillet over low heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until tender. Add mixture to dried breadcrumbs, then add cilantro, salt, oregano, chili powder, sage, and pepper. Fold in pinon nuts, craisins, pappers, and chilis.
This can (and should!) be made the day before. The flavors need time to meld.
Preheat oven to 500. If stuffing turkey allow a bit more cooking time. Otherwise,
350 to bake stuffing in casserole.
*Broth may be added to increase moisture of the stuffing and also as a way to reduce the butter content.