Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sausage Dressing with Apple and Pecan

A cornbread and bread dressing, made with tart apple, hot sausage and pecans.

Sausage Dressing with Apple and Pecan

I first made this dressing last Christmas, then again this Thanksgiving and I may even make it again this Christmas, though I'm actually still trying to settle between having a bread or rice dressing, since I'm going with a prime rib roast this year.

Yes, I'm moving away from the traditional turkey and dressing dinner for Christmas this year and going the route of a very expensive hunk of prime rib roast beef with au jus, that I have already warned The Cajun will not be cooked "well done." If he absolutely has to have it cooked more than medium rare, I'm pointing him directly to the microwave! Since a hunk of beef like this is not typically on my financial radar and I'm not solidly comfortable that I won't ruin it, I am planning to do the Cajun ham too. That way if I manage to ruin the roast, at least we'll still have some ham to fall back on.

This is a nice variation of the standard cornbread dressing of cornbread and bread, but dressed up just a bit with sausage, tart apples and pecans, just for something a little bit different. Whether you're planning on making a beef or poultry entree this Christmas, I think this would be a nice one to add to the table. It'd be an excellent stuffing if you're doing a roulade too. Just put any excess dressing in a small baking dish to serve on the side.

Apple, sausage and pecan dressing with a drizzle of turkey gravy.
Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Sausage Dressing with Apple and Pecan

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 10 to 12 servings

  • 1 skillet of cornbread, baked, dried and crumbled (about 6 cups)
  • 6 cups of cubed, bread (about 10 slices), toasted
  • 1 pound of hot breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean) or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of chopped sweet or yellow onion
  • 2 stalks (ribs) of celery (about a cup), chopped
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
  • 1 (10-1/2 ounce) can of turkey gravy
  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 to 6 cups of turkey or chicken broth or stock, more or less

Prepare the cornbread and allow it to dry out. Toast the cubed bread in 400 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Increase heat to 450 degrees F. Butter a 4 quart baking dish or 9 x 13 inch pan; set aside.

While the bread is toasting, saute the sausage in a large skillet until brown; remove and set aside. Melt the butter in the pan drippings over medium heat and saute the onion and celery until it begins to lightly brown. Add the apple, cook and stir for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat, return the sausage to the pan and season with the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, sage, thyme and poultry seasoning. Taste, adjust seasonings and set aside to cool.

Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl. Add the bread and toss. Add the sausage mixture, scraping out all of the butter; stir. Add the gravy and pecans; gently toss. Add the raw eggs and 2 cups of the broth, stir in and adjust broth to desired consistency. Lightly spoon into the casserole dish, but do not pack, and bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through and top is lightly browned.

Cook's Notes: Add in one large hard boiled egg, chopped, if you like. I used 1/2 loaf of white bread (10 slices) cubed, but you can substitute any leftover breads, rolls or biscuits you may have and make up any difference with crushed saltine crackers. How much broth or stock you'll need will be dependent on how dry your breads are. For a more fluffy stuffing, use less stock. If you prefer a wetter stuffing, add additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency, taking care not to get too soupy. I used 5 cups. In place of the sage, I used a teaspoon of Bell's seasoning. Prepare the cornbread a day ahead if possible so that it is very dry.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on December 18, 2012
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