substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

topic posted Thu, December 7, 2006 - 11:02 AM by  isabeau
my corn bread stuffing recipe calls for celery....

personally, i've never been a big celery fan, because it's always been so .....lacking in any flavor?????

maybe it's how i've prepared it, or had it prepared, or maybe it's that celery just doesn't have a lot of flavor. but i appreciate people liking the crispiness.

anyone have suggestions for veggies that could be substituted for chopped sauteed celery?
posted by:
  • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

    Fri, December 8, 2006 - 9:04 AM
    Isabeau, these are all great suggestions.

    How have you been sauteing your celery? Try sauteeing it on high heat in a well-heated pan. Or roasting at 525F around 20 minutes. Either way, chop small and toss with plenty of salt and pepper before it hits the heat.

    I, too, am not a fan of celery in any great quantity. But I think it adds a background flavor that's hard to match, and if it's cooked like this, I like the flavor it gives. Just a thought.
    • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

      Fri, December 8, 2006 - 10:35 AM
      hi chris --
      i've probably been sauteeing it in the past on too low a temp, and in too big of chunks....

      thanks for the suggestion on the heat plus salt and pepper....i usually don't use salt and pepper in cooking, so it's something to get reacquainted with....

      the regular chestnuts suggestion sounds great, however.....some of us have a hard time digesting nuts ;-/ (there's a pun in there somewhere ;-)).
      • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

        Fri, December 8, 2006 - 10:51 AM
        Hey isabeau. I forgot to ask---do you use kosher salt? What it does for foods is beautiful. You're truly seasoning your ingredients, instead of dumping sodium on them---590 mg sodium table salt, 290 mg sodium kosher salt. Sea salts fall in between, and I use those, too. Probably you know all this, so accept my apology at the repetition if this is the case.

        I season my cooked ingredients with s&p at least 3 times, beginning, middle, end.
        • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

          Fri, December 8, 2006 - 12:46 PM
          Right on Chris! gotta build flavor, three steps are great!
          Now I've starting to cook differently though by using Shoyu instead of salt but because shoyu has enzymes and you don't want to "kill" them by heating them, just add it at the end, or you can still use salt but leave somehow a part to shoyu at the end of the meal and hmmmmmm, not only you'll eat less sodium but you'll get all the advantages of shoyu and the greace soy cause taste that gives a serious twist to any dish!!!
          Try in guacamole and just about anything!!!
          And yes I agree, gotta sautee your celeri in oilve oil for instance, with some oignons or shallots is a plus, hmmm it's really good, it's the base of my tomato sauce, never fails!
          Bon appetit !
        • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

          Sat, December 9, 2006 - 11:48 AM
          i've used sea salt and also the salt made from kelp/seaweed.....but not kosher (though i will probably be using some iodized salt on a semi regular basis to help with thyroid function).

          i think i did have kosher salt years ago in the takes me a long time to go through a small carton of salt, as i rarely salt anything....
      • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

        Sun, December 10, 2006 - 1:47 AM
        Isabeau --

        I just wanted to respond to your concern about nut allergies and chestnuts. From what I understand, allergies to chestnuts are extremely rare, and are completely unrelated to allergies to other tree nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. Many people don't even consider chestnuts real "nuts," as they are so different from other nuts in their taste and nutritional composition. For example, in contrast to all other nuts, chestnuts are very low fat. They are really more like a grain than a nut, and are sometimes called "the bread that grows on trees." Chestnut flour is a good alternative grain for gluten-free diets.

        Hope that helps! Chestnuts are a very common ingredient in European stuffing recipes, though I'm not sure they'd provide quite the crunchy texture you're looking for as a replacement for celery.
        • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

          Sun, December 10, 2006 - 1:03 PM
          hi mel--

          sounds like that makes sense, seeing as how i've seen many squished horse chestnuts on the streets around here (and they are quite bready looking).

 do i know if i find them in the store that they're good quality? they may not add the celery crunch, but they'd be tasty....if they're good, that is....

          also, am i going to need a nutcracker to get em open?
          • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

            Mon, December 11, 2006 - 1:23 AM
            They are tasty--they add a mildly sweet, starchy element. (Don't ever try to eat a horse chestnut, though--they're a completely different species, and are inedible and possibly poisonous!)

            If you're buying fresh ones in a market, look for nuts that are firm, free of mold, and last but not least, REFRIGERATED. Unlike other nuts, fresh chestnuts are highly perishable--even if they've been properly refrigerated during harvesting and transit, they will only last two weeks at most in your fridge. This is something that many merchants don't realize, which accounts for a lot of rancid chestnuts in the markets, unfortunately. I buy mine online from a source that I know stores them properly (Allen Creek Farm). There are other options, though. You can buy dried chestnuts, which will keep for a long time. They just need to be rehydrated in hot water, much like you would with dried mushrooms. Or you can buy peeled, cooked chestnuts in cans and bottles. Needless to say, they don't taste nearly as good as fresh, but they'd probably be okay in something like a stuffing recipe. Also, Story mentioned below that you can buy frozen chestnuts at Trader Joe's--this is news to me, but if you can them, that would probably be a good choice as they do freeze well.

            A nutcracker won't do you any good with fresh chestnuts, I'm afraid! They must be either boiled or roasted (roasting is the tastiest method), then peeled. Here are instructions (you don't need a chestnut knife, though--any sharp knife will do):

            If you buy them bottled or canned, of course, you won't have to do any of that. I haven't tried it, but this looks like a good chestnut stuffing recipe (with no celery!) that calls for jarred chestnuts (Sierra Rica brand):
            • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

              Mon, December 11, 2006 - 10:59 AM
              i knew the horsie kinds weren't edible....but the fact that regular chestnuts can be acquired canned or jarred sounds perfect for stuffing. i'll have to check a couple local markets (alas, no trader joe's here, can i just cry a lot about that? SOBSOBSOBSOBOSB. okay, i'm good now.)

              thx for the links also, will check the recipes now.

              i must admit, celery is getting huge votes from people, so i may just end up using it after all. but it's nice to have alternatives ;-).
              • Re: substitutions for celery in stuffing recipes?

                Mon, December 11, 2006 - 12:16 PM
                You might want to use water chestnuts, the kind that you get canned in Asian markets, to mimic the celery crunch.

                And I definately recommend buying already peeled regular chestnuts... Every time I try to roast and peel them myself, the peeling part takes HOURS! Somehow the good taste is just not worth all the work. Just did it again this year on T-Day and I am totally regretting it. But if you do buy them whole, you can get them for a lot less in an Asian market than the grocery store...

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