Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Cornbread, Wild Mushroom, and Pecan Stuffing (With Sausage)

For most New Orleanians, we grow up unfamiliar with the concept of boxed stuffing. Actually, we really don't even use the term stuffing. Instead, on almost any NOLA holiday table you will find "dressing" of some kind - most typically oyster dressing. It can be done inside or outside of the turkey, and it always moist and delicious (or at least most people think so).

I have never been the biggest fan of oyster dressing, so when I started looking at recipes, I wanted to find a recipe similar to a cornbread dressing my dad makes. I set out to find a recipe that would produce a richly flavored, deliciously moist dressing. And find it I did. This recipe will turn even the most ardent hater of stuffing/dressing into its biggest fan.

I have made a few adjustments to this stuffing, because I love how the flavor of pork sausage with sage adds a saltiness and heartiness to this dish. I'll give you the traditional recipe and post a note below with the steps I take to incorporate the sausage. I do not stuff the bird, so I add a little extra wine for extra flavor. Also, I know some people do not like mushrooms, but I highly recommend them. They soak up so much liquid and are really the key in making this dressing so moist.

Makes 8 cups
1 1/2 cups pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups crumbled Cornbread - I use Jiff and bake it the night before
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 rib celery, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
10 ounces wild mushrooms (chanterelles, oyster, and shiitake)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Homemade Chicken Stock (Oh Martha - how ambitious you are, I use canned stock)

**1 tube Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage with Sage


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet. Place in oven to toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Cut cornbread into 2-inch-thick slices. Place, cut side down, on a 17-by-12-inch baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter. Toast cornbread until golden brown, 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  3. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet on medium high. Add shallots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add white wine; continue cooking until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add cream. Cook 30 seconds; remove pan from heat.

  4. Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and toasted pecans; toss.

  5. If you bake this stuffing outside the turkey, add chicken stock, and bake in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish until the stuffing is crusty and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Note 1- at step four, skip the butter and brown the sausage in a skillet. Drain until you have a few tablespoons of drippings from the sausage. Continue with the recipe as stated above.

Note 2 - when you add the 1/3 cup chicken stock, I add a little wine at a time as well until the stuffing reaches the texture I desire.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comment, Jen! I would have taken a picture of the final product but with the steak, mushrooms and the gratin ..took longer to cook with the ff half and half- guess too much water?- and the gruyere was crusty..it was not a colorful plate. Still tasted yummy! Would love your tested risotto recipe!



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