The Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

I’m always curious why sausage stuffing is typically only served maybe once or twice a year, typically around the holidays. In all honesty, sausage stuffing, or sausage dressing if you will, is probably my favorite part of the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. No lie. I could probably just live off of that during those couple of days, with a ladle of gravy, I’m set. I’ve been making this recipe for years now, and I might add a slight twist or two depending on my mood, but this is the one, and one that many people love.

The Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

This recipe uses fresh herbs, a couple of different types of bread, chicken livers, sausage, and an array of vegetables, all drowned in chicken stock to be baked, then crisped at the end. It’s a wonderful spoonful in every bite.

This recipe feeds a small army, probably 12 or more, so from this, you can figure out what you need, or freeze the leftovers and use them up on any day where you require a bit of comfort food.
Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup of chicken livers, pureed in a food processor
  • 2 pounds of Jimmy Dean’s Pork Sausage with Sage
  • 1/2 cup of fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh rosemary, minced
  • 21 oz Pepperidge Farm herbed seasoned stuffing
  • 4 cups sour dough bread cut into thick cubes
  • 6 slices of Nueske’s bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 head of kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 5 cups of chicken stock, warmed
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt, to taste

Heat two skillets on your stove, on medium heat.

To one skillet add the canola oil and let it come to temperature. Once heated for a few minutes, add the pureed chicken livers and mushrooms, and give a good stir.

To the other skillet, add the chopped bacon.

Cook the livers only for a few minutes, stirring along the way, then remove the skillet from the heat and set the livers into a bowl.

Cook the bacon, just until slightly crisp, then strain some of the bacon fat, reserving for later use if you want.

To the skillet with slightly cooked bacon, add the chopped kale, and half a cup of water. Continue cooking until the kale gets nice and wilted, about 12 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once heated, add the sour dough bread cubes to a baking sheet and place into the oven, cooking for about 12 minutes or so until the bread is nice and golden crisp.

To the skillet where you were cooking your chicken livers, heat on medium high heat, add the 2 pounds of Jimmy Dean sausage. Cook the sausage until nice and crisp, about 10 minutes. Once cooked, place into a bowl and set the sausage to the side.

To your large skillet, add the butter. Cook on medium heat and let the butter melt. Add the onions, garlic, parsley, fresh herbs, and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes or until everything is nice and tender. Season with the salt and pepper.

How to make Thanksgiving Stuffing

I used a large aluminum pan that I purchased from the store to mix all of the ingredients.

To the large pan, add the bread cubes, bacon and kale mixture, liver and mushrooms, raisins, and sausage. Give this a good mix, making sure you incorporate all of the ingredients. Next, ladle in the warm chicken stock. You want to make sure the mixture gets softened, but not mushy. You don’t want mush.

Cover the pan with foil.

To the preheated 325 degreed oven, add the stuffing pan, and cook for 30 minutes, covered. Next, uncover cook for an additional 15 minutes so the top gets a bit crisp.

How to make Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

The end result is pretty flipping amazing. You get sweet, savory, and great texture all around. This is my go to stuffing recipe and it’s one that I crave during the fall and winter months.

Hope you enjoy!

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Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Finally the Thanksgiving holiday is behind us, and hopefully we all survived the anxiety of making sure guests and food all turned out well. This past Thanksgiving was another success. We did not host this year, however we went to my in-laws and everyone brought a side dish, appetizer, or dessert. It worked out well. My responsibility was the turkey and the dressing (or stuffing). I’m always game for taking on those challenges, and I will admit, the dressing (or stuffing) is one of my favorites. I bought a large turkey, enough to feed everyone, and decided to simply stuff it with oranges, apples, and herbs, shove butter under the skin, and top it with Nueske’s bacon. It turned out pretty awesome, and with that said, we had leftovers. Lots of leftovers. My favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday is probably waking up the following day and heating up a plate of leftovers. I’ll admit it, no problem. BUT I still had leftovers. That’s when I decided to make something my wife really, really loves, and that is shepherd’s pie. So what a better use of leftovers than making a turkey shepherd’s pie.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

What I love about shepherd’s pie is that it is so easy to make, and it just screams comfort in every bite. Perfect for any day of the week, and great for work day leftovers.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of leftover Thanskgiving stuffing/dressing
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, and diced, approximately 1 cup
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups of leftover turkey, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 whole baking potatoes, skinned, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • leftover gravy, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the butter and canola oil, and let the butter melt. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion, and let this cook for about 8 minutes, stirring along the way.

Next add in the turkey, stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the corn and peas, and give another stir. Add in the salt and pepper. Stir, and remove from the heat.

Make the potatoes by adding the potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring this to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Once tender, drain, add the potatoes back to the pot, cooking over medium heat to remove any excess water, then add in the butter and milk. Mash, or use a ricer. Taste and adjust any butter or salt if needed.

How to make turkey shepherd's pie

Next get a 9×13 inch baking dish out. Line the dish with the leftover Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing. Top with the turkey and vegetable mixture, then lather on the mashed potatoes.

Place the dish, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove and serve.

To serve, scoop out a serving and ladle on warm gravy. The end result is nothing short of comforting. It has everything you want in a great bite of food, and to me, I would be just happy serving this for my next Thanksgiving, it’s that good.

How do you use your leftover Thanksgiving food?

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of leftover Thanskgiving stuffing/dressing
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, and diced, approximately 1 cup
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 cups of leftover turkey, chopped
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • ½ cup of frozen corn
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tbsp canola oil
  • 3 whole baking potatoes, skinned, cubed
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • leftover gravy, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the butter and canola oil, and let the butter melt. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion, and let this cook for about 8 minutes, stirring along the way.
  2. Next add in the turkey, stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the corn and peas, and give another stir. Add in the salt and pepper. Stir, and remove from the heat.
  3. Make the potatoes by adding the potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring this to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Once tender, drain, add the potatoes back to the pot, cooking over medium heat to remove any excess water, then add in the butter and milk. Mash, or use a ricer. Taste and adjust any butter or salt if needed.
  4. Next get a 9×13 inch baking dish out. Line the dish with the leftover Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing. Top with the turkey and vegetable mixture, then lather on the mashed potatoes.
  5. Place the dish, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove and serve.
  6. To serve, scoop out a serving and ladle on warm gravy. The end result is nothing short of comforting. It has everything you want in a great bite of food, and to me, I would be just happy serving this for my next Thanksgiving, it’s that good.

 

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Butternut Squash Gnocchi

It’s nearing winter time here in the great state of Wisconsin, and I still have a handful of butternut squash that I pulled from the garden weeks ago. Now don’t get me wrong here, but I am not the biggest fan of butternut squash. I really only grew it to make a couple of dishes for my wife, and to give some away to family and friends. This year I decided to make a stuffed butternut squash with some great local sausage, among other ingredients, and as I always walk by these squash I have in my kitchen, I knew I had to use them up, and hence when I remembered how much my wife loved a gnocchi I made here a few years ago.  I knew this recipe idea would be a win for both of us; she loves gnocchi and butternut squash, and I was able to use up the squash, while at the same time use up some fresh sage I had growing in the garden.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

If you have never had gnocchi, it is a must to try. Gnocchi is basically a thick, soft pasta, often served in a light sauce. This recipe will uses a few steps in order to get the dough together, as well as a bit of time to roll out the dough into gnocchi, however it is all worth it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
  • water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour, approximately
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (per serving)
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (per serving)

Start by preheating over oven to 425 degrees. Take a knife and make score marks into the flesh of the squash, about 1/2 inch down. Rub the skin with the canola oil, and place the squash onto a baking sheet, skin side up. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

During this time, fill a pot with the potatoes, and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer on the stove, and cook until fork tender.

Once the potatoes are tender, drain, and return the potatoes back onto the stove on medium-low heat until the excess moisture is removed, just a couple of minutes. Remove and let cool.

Remove the tender squash from the oven and let that cool.

Once the potatoes have cooled, put them through a ricer if you have one, if not, mash them into a mixing bowl.

Remove the squash from the skin and add them into a food processor. Process until you have a nice puree. Add this puree into a pot on the stove, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to remove any excess moisture. Let cool, then add into the mixing bowl with the potatoes.

To the mixing bowl add the egg, salt, and the parmesan cheese. Start your mixer, and gradually add in the flour. You do not want to dump in all of the flour, but just enough to that it forms a dough, a non sticky dough. I do this in my KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook, allowing me to knead for a few minutes after the dough has came together.

Once the dough is kneaded, lightly flour your work surface, and add the dough onto it. Divide the dough into equal pieces, about 8 will work.

How to make butternut squash gnocchi with browned butter sage sauce

Lightly flour a large baking tray as well.

Take each small ball of dough and gently roll into a rope shape, about one inch thick.

Once you have your rope, cut into one inch pieces. Using the back of a fork, roll into a gnocchi shape, then place onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the gnocchi have formed.

Lightly cover with plastic wrap and place into your refrigerator to set up, about 2 hours.

Once you are ready to make the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

During this time, slowly melt the butter in a skillet. You are going to go for a browned butter on this sauce, so keep that in mind. We will raise the heat a bit as the gnocchi gets closer to finishing cooking.

Once the water is rapidly boiling, add in about 15-20 of the gnocchi. Give a gentle stir, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the gnocchi are floating to the top. As soon as they begin to float to the top, raise the heat of your butter to a medium-high heat, and let hte butter begin to brown.

Once the butter begins to brown, toss in the sage. It will crack and sizzle, and smell really, really good. If you have never had browned butter sage sauce, well, you will love it. Two of my kids really love it, and that is saying something.

Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add into the butter sauce. Give a gentle toss, and let this cook for a couple of minutes.

Add more grated parmesan to your liking, and serve.

Repeat if you are serving more than two people, otherwise, you can place the baking pan into your freezer and flash freeze the leftover gnocchi (that’s what I did) for later use.

Plate and serve.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Not only does this particular butternut squash gnocchi look awesome with that light orange color, but it tastes like Fall as my wife had noted. Fluffy and soft pillows of pasta that have that light, not overwhelming, flavor of butternut squash, is perfectly balanced by that browned butter sage sauce. This is good, REALLY, REALLY good. I hope you enjoy.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
  • water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for sauce
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour, approximately
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (per serving)
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (per serving)
Instructions
  1. Start by preheating over oven to 425 degrees. Take a knife and make score marks into the flesh of the squash, about ½ inch down. Rub the skin with the canola oil, and place the squash onto a baking sheet, skin side up. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
  2. During this time, fill a pot with the potatoes, and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer on the stove, and cook until fork tender.
  3. Once the potatoes are tender, drain, and return the potatoes back onto the stove on medium-low heat until the excess moisture is removed, just a couple of minutes. Remove and let cool.
  4. Remove the tender squash from the oven and let that cool.
  5. Once the potatoes have cooled, put them through a ricer if you have one, if not, mash them into a mixing bowl.
  6. Remove the squash from the skin and add them into a food processor. Process until you have a nice puree. Add this puree into a pot on the stove, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to remove any excess moisture. Let cool, then add into the mixing bowl with the potatoes.
  7. To the mixing bowl add the egg, salt, and the parmesan cheese. Start your mixer, and gradually add in the flour. You do not want to dump in all of the flour, but just enough to that it forms a dough, a non sticky dough. I do this in my KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook, allowing me to knead for a few minutes after the dough has came together.
  8. Once the dough is kneaded, lightly flour your work surface, and add the dough onto it. Divide the dough into equal pieces, about 8 will work.
  9. Lightly flour a large baking tray as well.
  10. Take each small ball of dough and gently roll into a rope shape, about one inch thick.
  11. Once you have your rope, cut into one inch pieces. Using the back of a fork, roll into a gnocchi shape, then place onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the gnocchi have formed.
  12. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and place into your refrigerator to set up, about 2 hours.
  13. Once you are ready to make the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  14. During this time, slowly melt the butter in a skillet. You are going to go for a browned butter on this sauce, so keep that in mind. We will raise the heat a bit as the gnocchi gets closer to finishing cooking.
  15. Once the water is rapidly boiling, add in about 15-20 of the gnocchi. Give a gentle stir, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the gnocchi are floating to the top. As soon as they begin to float to the top, raise the heat of your butter to a medium-high heat, and let hte butter begin to brown.
  16. Once the butter begins to brown, toss in the sage. It will crack and sizzle, and smell really, really good. If you have never had browned butter sage sauce, well, you will love it. Two of my kids really love it, and that is saying something.
  17. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add into the butter sauce. Give a gentle toss, and let this cook for a couple of minutes.
  18. Add more grated parmesan to your liking, and serve.
  19. Plate and serve.
  20. Not only does this particular butternut squash gnocchi look awesome with that light orange color, but it tastes like Fall as my wife had noted. Fluffy and soft pillows of pasta that have that light, not overwhelming, flavor of butternut squash, is perfectly balanced by that browned butter sage sauce. This is good, REALLY, REALLY good. I hope you enjoy.

 

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Roasted Squash Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that is not only sexy, but is also comforting. It is a dish that once you have had a good plate of it at a restaurant that you will want to create on your own, and you can. In the past, I have made mushroom risotto which was really delicious, and it has been some time since then that I’ve made it. As my wife and I were staying in this past weekend, I decided to make her this roasted squash risotta, only to be paired with roasted pork tenderloin stuffed with duxelles. To say the least, and to reiterate, the risotto was super sexy and incredibly delicious.

Roasted Squash Risotto Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole butternut squash, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
  • 4 cups of chicken stock, warmed
  • 3/4 cup of white wine (chardonnay works well)
  • 1 cup of pureed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it. I love using Reynolds parchment paper as it prevents a lot less cleanup when I am finished baking anything.

Using a large, sharp knife, lay the squash on its side, and carefully remove both ends of the squash. This allows a sturdier base when slicing in half.

Next, stand the squash upright. Place your knife in the middle of the squash and move it down the squash, slicing it in half.

Now the seeds are exposed. Remove them.

Using a fork, fork the outside skin in a couple of areas.

With flesh side up, drizzle the one tablespoon of olive oil over the squash, and season with a bit of salt.

Place the squash, flesh side down, in the preheated oven, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender.

Once fully cooked, remove them from the oven, and let cool.

Take one half of the squash and add the flesh to a food processor. Discard the skin. Reserve the other half for another meal.

Pulse the squash until you have a nice puree. Set aside.

How to make risotto with squash

Now lets get started on the risotto.

A couple of important things here. Make sure your stock is warm, and keep it on a simmer, and more importantly get ready for a workout. This is a stirring challenge but I am confident you will do just fine.

To a medium sized pot, add the butter and olive oil, and cook on a medium heat. Once melted, toss in the onion and garlic, and cook for a few minutes, stirring along the way.

Add in the rice, and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. This will allow the rice to get coated in the butter and oil, and begin to blossom.

Next, add in the wine. Cook the rice until the wine is fully absorbed.

KEEP STIRRING.

Next, add in a ladle full of the warm stock. Raise the heat to a medium high heat, and continue stirring until the stock is fully absorbed. Once the rice is almost dry, add another ladle of stock.

Add in the squash puree.

KEEP STIRRING.

Now what you will begin to notice is that the risotto will begin to blossom and turn into a creamy consistency. This gets exciting. You are almost there.

Add a bit more stock, and season with a bit of salt. Your overall cooking time is going to be around 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is al dente.

Your goal here is to not end up with mushy rice, rather rice that is creamy, yet still has a bite to it. Al dente.

When you have reached the al dente part, add in the parmesan cheese, give another good stir, and remove from the heat.

Plate and serve immediately.

The result is a creamy risotto that is just perfectly balanced with the squash. That white wine adds a great perfume to the dish, that along with the garlic and onions… wow. You can tell I am excited just by writing about it. Again, sexy. It’s a sexy dish, and one that has comfort written all over it. Give this one a shot. It’s a real winner, plus you get a workout in! Hope you enjoy.

Roasted Squash Risotto
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole butternut squash, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup of yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups of Arborio rice
  • 4 cups of chicken stock, warmed
  • ¾ cup of white wine (chardonnay works well)
  • 1 cup of pureed butternut squash
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it. I love using Reynolds parchment paper as it prevents a lot less cleanup when I am finished baking anything.
  3. Using a large, sharp knife, lay the squash on its side, and carefully remove both ends of the squash. This allows a sturdier base when slicing in half.
  4. Next, stand the squash upright. Place your knife in the middle of the squash and move it down the squash, slicing it in half.
  5. Now the seeds are exposed. Remove them.
  6. Using a fork, fork the outside skin in a couple of areas.
  7. With flesh side up, drizzle the one tablespoon of olive oil over the squash, and season with a bit of salt.
  8. Place the squash, flesh side down, in the preheated oven, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
  9. Once fully cooked, remove them from the oven, and let cool.
  10. Take one half of the squash and add the flesh to a food processor. Discard the skin. Reserve the other half for another meal.
  11. Pulse the squash until you have a nice puree. Set aside.
  12. Now lets get started on the risotto.
  13. A couple of important things here. Make sure your stock is warm, and keep it on a simmer, and more importantly get ready for a workout. This is a stirring challenge but I am confident you will do just fine.
  14. To a medium sized pot, add the butter and olive oil, and cook on a medium heat. Once melted, toss in the onion and garlic, and cook for a few minutes, stirring along the way.
  15. Add in the rice, and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. This will allow the rice to get coated in the butter and oil, and begin to blossom.
  16. Next, add in the wine. Cook the rice until the wine is fully absorbed.
  17. KEEP STIRRING.
  18. Next, add in a ladle full of the warm stock. Raise the heat to a medium high heat, and continue stirring until the stock is fully absorbed. Once the rice is almost dry, add another ladle of stock.
  19. Add in the squash puree.
  20. KEEP STIRRING.
  21. Now what you will begin to notice is that the risotto will begin to blossom and turn into a creamy consistency. This gets exciting. You are almost there.
  22. Add a bit more stock, and season with a bit of salt. Your overall cooking time is going to be around 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is al dente.
  23. Your goal here is to not end up with mushy rice, rather rice that is creamy, yet still has a bite to it. Al dente.
  24. When you have reached the al dente part, add in the parmesan cheese, give another good stir, and remove from the heat.
  25. Plate and serve immediately.

 

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