We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Herb and Cornbread Stuffing

by Michelle

Herb and Corn Bread Stuffing

   Our family recipe traditionally does not include dried fruit and sausage. After reading Ina Garten's recipe for Turkey Roulade, I decided to give it a try. I liked the results very much. I have written the recipe so you can either include or exclude the fruit depending upon how you feel. You can also exchange one-half cup pitted, chopped prunes for half the dried cranberries. The stuffing is delicious without the sausage, but I liked the spicy note it added.

3 cups Herb Seasoned Cube Stuffing
3 cups Seasoned Corn Bread Cube Stuffing
1 cup figs, quartered and then cut in half
1 cup dried cranberries (or 1/2 dried cranberries and 1/2 cup pitted, chopped prunes)
1/2 cup brandy or Calvados (Apple Brandy)
1/2 cup water
24 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
1 pound chicken sausage, removed from casings
4 Tbsps butter
2 large onions, diced
1-1/2 cups celery, trimmed and diced
1-1/2 cups carrot, peeled and diced
8-10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsps dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh, minced
1 tsp dried sage, or 2 teaspoons fresh, minced
1-1/2 Tbsps poultry seasoning
Sea salt and black pepper freshly ground, to taste
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or as needed

1. In a small saucepan, combine the figs, cranberries (and prunes, if using), the Calvados or brandy and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Preheat a large skillet (at least 12 inches) or pan and add the sausage. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, and crumbling into bite size pieces with a spatula as it cooks. When cooked through, about 10-15 minutes, remove all the sausage to a plate and set aside.
3. In the same skillet or pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and about 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook for five minutes then add the mushrooms. Continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are evenly cooked. Add the dried fruit and the liquid, the cooked sausage, the chopped rosemary, dried thyme and sage, poultry seasoning, and another sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for another two minutes, scraping up any brown bits with a spatula.
4. Place the corn bread and herb stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the applesauce and stir well. Add the vegetable-dried fruit-sausage mix and stir well. Add a little chicken stock, if needed. The mixture should be wet, but not drenched. You will definitely need the chicken stock if you omitted the fruit and brandy from the recipe.
5. At this point, the stuffing can be stored in the refrigerator overnight, or used immediately in the Turkey Roulade. It's also excellent loosely stuffed in a cavity of a big 24-pound turkey immediately before putting it in the oven - never stuff a turkey the night before. Place extra stuffing in a buttered gratin or casserole dish and bake for the last 45 minutes to an hour of roasting alongside the turkey.

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