My mom Penny makes the best stuffing in the world. (Thanks, mom, for the decades of delicious stuffing!) One look at the ingredient list and you’ll see that the classics are well represented: There’s celery, onions, carrots, mushrooms…
But her star ingredient is a curious one—crackers. Of course, traditionally, my mom always used matzo meal, but that all changed when Isaiah was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Instead of matzo meal, I opted for gluten-free, Saltine-style table crackers. The stuffing was practically identical, save for my mom’s love that she pours into this dish.
My favorite part of this stuffing has always been the crispy edges, so I decided to spread the stuffing out thin enough to make it even crispier—a great solution for serving it in a basket as a swap in for bread.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan buttery spread
One 8-ounce package white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, coarsely shredded (about ½ cup)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten with ¼ cup water
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Using your hands, crush the crackers into coarse crumbs over a bowl.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes; add to the crackers.
Add 3 tablespoons butter, the onion, 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Add to the mushroom-cracker mixture. Add the carrots, celery and baking soda; mix well. Stir in the eggs.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brush on top of the mixture. Bake until golden and crispy, 30 to 35 minutes. Cut the stuffing into squares and serve hot or at room temperature.