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November 7, 2012

A baked stuffing that is fantastic, but not fancy

Roasted chestnuts, pomegranate seeds and oysters are fine stuffing accoutrements for a classy Thanksgiving feast. But if a mess of children will be dining with you this year — whether you own, borrow or merely tolerate them — you might consider tossing notions of classy.

A simpler — but no less satisfying — recipe will be easier on their palates and your patience.

This recipe for cheese-laced stuffing isn’t dumbed down in flavor, but it is easy enough for you to assemble from scratch while also refereeing the little ones playing hide and seek under the holiday table.

CHEESY STUFFING

Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 10

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken or turkey broth

8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese

Salt and ground black pepper

1 large loaf (about 18 to 20 ounces) stale bread (such as challah), torn into pieces and lightly toasted

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

cheese

Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray a large casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until softened and the onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the flour and stir to coat. Stir in the milk, then the broth. Stir continuously and bring up to a simmer, cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Monterey jack cheese.

Season with salt and pepper. Stir the torn bread into the mixture, then spoon into the prepared baking dish, arranging it in an even layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

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