Monday, November 21, 2011
At this time of year, people everywhere are discussing whether they're serving stuffing or dressing with their Thanksgiving dinner. I know, this is one of those life-altering debates that could change how you view the world! Not!
But do you call the dish stuffing if you don't actually stuff the turkey with it? Should it actually be called dressing? Am I the only one who thinks about such silly things?
Growing up, my knowledge of stuffing was limited to Stove Top in a box. No one that I knew made their own from scratch. Then I moved South and found out it's a tradition to make homemade stuffing.
And that in itself is cause for debate. Some people swear that cornbread stuffing is the only way to go. Then you have people who moved here from the North bringing all kinds of weird combinations like oysters and cranberries. I've even seen people put pineapple in their stuffing! No kidding!
To sum it up, I've found that no two stuffing recipes are exactly alike. And you know what, I'm good with that. I love being able to take a basic idea and add my own flavorful twists to it.
So today I'll share with you a recipe handed down to me from my husband's grandmother who was raised in Michigan. It's a savory sausage combination that makes my mouth water! Tomorrow I'll share a traditional Southern chicken and cornbread recipe given to me by a member of my church who is renowned for his Southern cooking.
Savory Sausage Stuffing - this needs to sit overnight, so plan ahead
1 loaf of white sandwich bread, cubed
1 lb. bulk sausage
4-5 large onions, chopped
1 teas rubbed sage
1 egg, beaten
1 quart milk
Place the bread cubes on baking sheets and brown in the oven until toasted. I heat my oven to 400 degrees, so it takes 10-15 minutes. Check often and stir so all the bread gets evenly toasted.
While the bread is toasting, cook the sausage in a large skillet until no longer pink. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chopped onions and cook in the sausage drippings until translucent and starting to brown. Sprinkle with sage as the onions cook.
In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, sausage and onions. Pour the beaten egg and 2 cups of milk over all. With a large spoon, stir to mix well. I usually just dig my hands in there and get everything mixed together. The stuffing should be very moist. Add more milk if needed. I usually add another cup or so because we like moist stuffing.
If you plan to stuff your turkey with this, set aside as much as you need. Then pat the rest of the stuffing into a greased 9x13 pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
About 90 minutes before serving, take the pan out of the fridge and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Check to see if the stuffing has dried out too much. If so, pour a little more milk over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until browned.