Monday, December 5

Good Eating Monday: Apple Cranberry Sausage Stuffing!

Now this some wicked good dressing!  I tried it for Thanksgiving this year and everyone loved it!
I've been looking for just the right dressing and I may have finally found it!  It's also healthy with a tasty combo of fruit, veggies and a mix of white & whole wheat bakery breads. It will fill a fill a 9 x 13 pan. 
You can use fresh or dried herbs. I've included the measurements for both. Just remember dried seasoning is more concentrated in flavor because it is dried, so you need less of it then fresh herbs.
I have fresh Parsley growing outside and this was a great use for it!
I found leftover over stuffing wonderful heated up and topped with a over-easy egg for lunch! 

Apple Cranberry Sausage Stuffing
 5 1/2 cups fresh European style or sourdough bread, white, sliced and cubed
2 1/2 cups wheat bread, whole grain sliced and cubed
1 lb ground pork or turkey
(I used Jimmy Dean's Turkey Crumbles, which was 8 oz and that worked great!)

1 1/2 cups carrot, shredded, minced or ground 
1 1/4 cups minced celery
1 1/2 cups yellow onion (Spanish or sweet)
1 1/4  cups dried cranberries
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 large Golden Delicious apple, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Parsley leaves (2 Tablespoons dried)
2 Tbsp fresh Rosemary leaves (2 teaspoons dried) 
3  Tbsp  fresh Sage leaves (1 Tablespoon dried rubbed Sage)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh Thyme  (3/4 teaspoon dried)
3/4 cup stock  (I used instant chicken bouillon)
3/4 cup white wine (I just used Regina White Cooking Wine)
6 Tablespoons butter, melted 

#1) Preheat oven to 350 & spray your 9 x 13 pan with oil cooking spray.

#2)  Toasted Bread Cubes:
When shopping, choose your white & wheat bread from the grocery bakery for a fresh-baked flavor!
 Slice into 1 inch cubes, then either line two baking sheets with parchment or spray with oil cooking spray and toast bread cubes 10 to 15 minutes, stirring about halfway through cooking time.

Let cool 10 ten minutes, then pour into large bowl.

#3)  Cook: 
If you're using fresh sausage, brown it with the onion, celery & carrot in a large skillet. If you're using Jimmy Dean Crumbles, just brown the onion, celery & grated carrot.
(I used a food chopper & carrot matchsticks to get nicely minced carrot bits.)
Add the sage, rosemary & thyme, butter, stock & wine and simmer to blend flavors while you core & chop up the two apples. 

Save Parsley to be added later.
(If you don't prefer to use wine, just replace it with the same amount of stock.)

#4)  Combine:
Add apples & dried cranberries & Parsley to toasted bread cubes in bowl and gently toss together. 
Pour 1/2 of skillet contents over bread. Toss to combine. Add rest & toss again till well combine.
(Dividing the amount in half this way just makes it easier to stir in well.)
Pour stuffing into greased 9 x 13 pan, patting down so it fills all corners and all fits into pan. 

#5)  Bake:
Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, covered in a 350 degree oven. Then remove pan from oven, remove foil and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of melted butter over top or more as desired, then bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes to crisp top.
Cool a little before serving.
After having made it, my only observation about this recipe is I'd like a little more liquid added. As is, the stuffing fell apart when it was dished out. I like my stuffing to stick together more. So for Christmas I intend to experiment with making broth & the wine measurements each a full cup versus 3/4.
Getting just the right amount of liquid in stuffing is the only tricky thing about stuffing.
Because it's that time of year for Holiday baking, for the next two Monday's I'll be featuring all my Favorite Good Eating Monday Holiday Baking Recipes!
So be sure and stop by!

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