Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - MAY 1953:  Marilyn Monroe on patio outside of her home.  (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Maybe more famous now then during her lifetime, Hollywood starlet, Marilyn Monroe seems as at home in the kitchen as she did on the silver screen. Auctioned off during a 1999 sale of her personal effects at Christie’s, heralded two well used cookbooks and a set of bright yellow enameled Le Creuset pots and pans. She had a love affair that fans never knew of, she was a kitchen goddess, long before it became a “thing” to be.

I know that today, for many, is a day of preparation and if I was at home celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, we would already be in the kitchen working away on family favourite’s and much loved recipes.  In case you are looking for something new this year or haven’t quite finalized that Thanksgiving menu, I thought I would share this little recipe.

Marilyn Monroe Stuffing Recipe

This recipe, like a recipe from your grandmother or mother, is scrawled on letterhead from an insurance company, probably the nearest thing she had to hand. Recipes written on the back of receipts or in the margins of a book always seem to me, the best kinda recipes! And like many old recipes I have, there is not a clear step-by-step directive, but you can still follow along or hazard a guess at her meaning. However, the NY Times Cooking section has researched and refined her scribbling in to an exact recipe and I shall include that below, in case you don’t have the time or inclination to decipher this yourself.

{Recipe Image From “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe”}

Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing, Matt Lee and Ted Lee

INGREDIENTS

  • A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
  • ½ pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
  • ½ pound ground round or other beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped curly parsley
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushedrosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-freepoultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.
  2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.
  4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing. To serve as a dressing, pile about two quarts of the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until the top is evenly browned, about 1 hour.

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