Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Serving Up {Side Dish}: Savory Sausage Stuffing

I have to admit that when it comes to stuffings, add some craisins to a box of Stove Top and I am actually quite happy. I guess I am admitting to easily satisfied taste buds or I am giving Stove Top quite the rave review. Hmmmm.

While Stove Top stuffing may meet my needs on a random week night, there is something about Thanksgiving dinner that demands that the onion and celery and garlic be freshly chopped... that the bread cubes be cut by my own hand, brushed with oil and toasted in my own oven... that I throw in some spinach and cashews, and maybe even craisins, by eyeballing it. I have been creating and adjusting this recipe for years. I will admit that this recipe is a bit of work but the end results are, dare I claim, better than Stove Top.

**as written this recipe makes a LOT!  As in, if you aren't taking it to a family gathering, you may want to scale it back**

printable version

2 packages Jimmy Dean sausage (I prefer Sage flavored)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ cup onion, diced
1 ½ cup celery, diced
1 cup grated carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounce pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained (I use fresh)
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. black pepper
15 ounce herbed dry bread, cubed
(use Italian bread, brush with olive oil and bake until browned)
2 cups chicken broth
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups whole cashews
Craisins, optional (wink)

In a large skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink. Add mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook and stir for 10 minutes until vegetables are softened. (If using fresh spinach, add the last 2-3 minutes to wilt it down).
Transfer meat and vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Pour everything into a large buttered 4-quart casserole dish. Bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees.
**Stuffing is a snap done in a crockpot. Cut liquid in half and cook for four hours**

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