by Jason Martin, Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville
With Thanksgiving just days away, share a great stuffing recipe. We recently tried a new recipe to stuff turkey medallions, consisting of your traditional stuffing ingredients plus some plump cranberries and chicken livers. I had my doubts about the chicken livers, but have to admit I was very pleased with the outcome. They add a great flavor contrast.
I was speaking with some of the attendees about different stuffing recipes, at our last cooking demonstration and was reminded of a great stuffing option. You have your more traditional bread stuffing and even cornbread stuffing, which has become quite popular. In addition, my culinary schooling in South Carolina also afforded me the opportunity to try my hand at oyster stuffing. I have started to notice that Italian sausage stuffing is being used more and more in restaurants and can be a great accompaniment to your holiday turkey. Both recipes are very similar just substituting fresh or canned shucked oysters for the sausage.
I guess I should start by saying, that like any food item I cook or tell people about, nothing is set in stone. Cookbooks and the Internet are just tools to suggest ideas and start your creativity flowing. I read a lot of cookbooks and am always searching the Internet for further inspiration. If I find something I like, it usually doesn’t stay the same. I always add, take away, or change the characteristics of that dish to make it my own.
When you look at stuffing, you can add ingredients, and cut those ingredients differently to make it heartier. You can add more or less protein to be served as a side item or an entrée. When I make stuffing, I like a ton of vegetables, and I want to be able to see what it is I’m eating, so I cut them a little larger. I really don’t like dry stuffing, so I add plenty of tasty stock. If it gets too dry while I’m cooking it, I just add more!
Here is a simple but great recipe for an Italian sausage stuffing. Try it out this holiday season and maybe you will start a new tradition. Remember you can easily cut this in half for a smaller portion. Try it this year and let us know how you liked it.
Italian Sausage Stuffing
2 loaves Italian Bread cut into ¾ inch cubes and toasted (should yield about 20 cups)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 large onions, medium dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
1 carrot, medium dice
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, fresh is always better
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
2 cups chicken or turkey broth
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In large skillet, brown sausage in olive oil over medium heat, crumbling until fully cooked.
- Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme.
- Cook until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add breadcrumbs, mixing to incorporate.
- Add broth, butter, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place in a baking dish, in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until set.
- Slice up the turkey and enjoy.
For those of you asking about the newest addition to our family, baby Grady is doing great. He attended his first “Cooking with Jason” this month. He didn’t cry so I must have done alright! Almost a month old now, wow how time flies.