Tag Archives: turkey

Cornbread Stuffing

So this year, we cooked a good bit of the Christmas dinner at Heather’s grandparents’ house..  It afforded them the opportunity to relax, and me the opportunity to experiment a little.  So, I finally got my chance to fry a turkey and make the stuffing.  The turkey was very good, having bought one of the foo-foo organic, free-range, went to the right schools, and lovingly attended to, right up until its beheading birds, then brined it myself before frying it up..  But this post isn’t about the fried turkey I made, which was delicious, by the way.  This post is about stuffing.

Yes, I called it stuffing, despite the fact that I never shoved it up inside an animal to cook it.  Don’t get all snippy & pedantic here, it’s just stuffing.  Very tasty stuffing, but still, just stuffing.  I also shamelessly lifted this from a recipe of Anne Burrell’s from the Food Network site, though I changed it up a bit to call it my own. The original recipe called for “spicy sausage”.  This spawned much debate between the people behind the meat counter at the market down the road.  We ended up settling on Andouille, since it offers a little spice, but not enough to knock you over.  It all melded really well in the end.

The recipe calls for 10 cups of stale cornbread.  I had no idea how much 10c of cornbread was, but happily, there was a video on the Food Network site, showing Anne Burrell and Ted Allen making the stuffing.  In it, they used 2 8×8 pans of cornbread.  To me, that’s a much more sensible measurement than “10 cups”.  But I digress.  Here we go.

  • 1 large onion, fine dice
  • 3 ribs celery, fine dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, then finely diced
  • 10 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound of Andouille sausage, removed from the casings
  • 2 cups dried cranberries (an 8 ounce package was just enough)
  • 2 8×8 pans of stale cornbread, cut into 1″ chunks (I used a mix from Krusteaz, and it turned out well).
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (I used low-sodium, so I could add salt if it needed it)

Coat the bottom of a big sauté pan with olive oil (again, get the kind made with real virgins, alright?), and sauté the onions & celery over medium-high heat until they’re softening up.  Hit that veg with some salt and pepper to season it up.  Next, add the sausage, breaking it up into small bite-sized chunks and cook until the sausage starts to brown.  Add the garlic and keep going for another 1-2 minutes, then add the sage & rosemary, and keep cooking for another minute or two.

Get a big bowl, dump in the cornbread, cranberries and the contents of your sauté pan, along with 3 cups of the chicken stock.  Now get in there with your hands and mix it all up thoroughly.  The cornbread should be wet when you’re done.  Dump all that into 1 large or 2 small baking dishes and chuck it into a 350F oven for about 30-35 minutes.

This was one of the best stuffings I’ve ever had, and everyone loved it.  It even looks a little Christmas-ish with the red cranberries, and the piney-aroma of the rosemary.

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Turkey & Chorizo Chili

So, last weekend, I christened our new 7.25 quart Le Creuset Dutch (French??) Oven by making some chili.  I scored a screaming deal on eBay for a new with tags pot at $100 under what the shops down the road are charging.

Anyhow, back to the chili.  I shameless ripped this off from Food Network, and (gasp) Rachel Ray.  Yeah, she’s annoying (EVOO! Yumm-o! Shoot me now!), but every now & then, she really gets one right.  This was very tasty and not hard to prepare at all.  The recipe calls for chorizo.  Make sure you’re buying the Mexican stuff, and not Spanish.  Spanish is more like salami, where Mexican is more like a sausage, similar in texture to Italian sausage, but with different flavors.

Lay hands on all of the following:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable/canola/olive oil
  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo, out of the casings – If you can get loose sausage, even better.
  • 1 lb cooked turkey breast, cut into 1cm cubes – I went to the deli, got the store-roasted turkey breast cut into 1cm slices – took 3 or 4 slices to get a pound.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped – I went for the Spanish yellow onion here for some sweetness
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • A 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo – I just dumped the whole can into the blender
  • 1.5-2 cups chicken stock (she called for 2-3 – I did 2 and needed to reduce for longer than she called for)
  • 2 tablespoons corn meal, quick-cooking polenta or even masa
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Heat up your dutch oven on the stovetop on medium-high heat, put the oil in.  Add the chorizo.  Break that stuff up and cook until it’s browned, and you’ve got that lovely orange grease in the bottom of the pot.  Add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook until they’re soft (about 3-5 minutes).  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer it low for 45-60 minutes.

The original suggestion was to serve with lime wedges and top with Fritos.  I did the Fritos, and it was good, but I also put some shredded sharp cheddar cheese in before the Fritos.  This was absolutely delicious, and the leftovers kept nicely for about 7 days, when I ate the last bit of it.

I don’t usually do chili without beans, but after my recent surgery, I was on a slightly restricted diet (low fiber, low residue).  I’ve since been cleared for beans.  Were I to make this again, I’d probably add a small can of rinsed black beans to round it out.  But without the beans, it was delicious.  The recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.  For us, it was enough for the 4 of us (the kids didn’t eat much of it), and we had 2 mug/bowls left over.

Also, highly recommended for fall/winter soup/chili leftovers, are the Corningware mugs with lids (relax, it’s not an affiliate link, I promise). I just checked, and they’re even cheaper in Target ($7.59 at the time I wrote this).