When I was a little kid, I never ate the stuffing served at Thanksgiving. I was convinced it was gross, and would fill my plate with turkey and mashed potatoes instead.
I was a stupid kid.
I don’t remember when or why I realized the greatness that is stuffing. It was probably around the time I realized how fantastic cheesecake is, too.
(Seriously, my eating habits as child were very much like my picky son’s. I eventually outgrew it. Maybe he won’t starve at college after all!)
I tend to make a new stuffing recipe every Thanksgiving to add some pizazz to the standard dinner of turkey, potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. The second recipe for The 2012 Apple Challenge may just make an appearance at this year’s Thanksgiving feast – only I hope I can get it out of the oven without burning my arm this time.
- 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups water
- 2 (14 to 16-ounce) bags of your favorite dried cornbread stuffing mix
- 1 pound pork sausage (not links)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 medium apples, cored, sliced
- 2 to 3 cups homemade giblet stock or low sodium canned chicken broth
In a large pot melt 2 sticks butter in water. When melted add dry cornbread stuffing stirring to incorporate liquid, set aside.
In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and add sausage. With a wooden spoon break up sausage and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. In the same pan melt remaining butter and sauté onions with the garlic, celery, thyme, and sage until onions are translucent and celery is crisp tender. Add walnuts and sauté for 1 minute. Add apples and sauté for one minute more. Remove from heat.
Combine cornbread stuffing with sautéed ingredients and stuff turkey. Roast turkey as usual, or fill a 10 by 15 by 2 inch pan with the stuffing, moisten with the giblet stock, and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven, covered with foil for 1/2 hour. Remove foil and bake until top is lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.
Source: Food Network Kitchens (www.foodnetwork.com)