Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mushroom, Oyster, and Sausage Stuffing

I am a big fan of Thanksgiving stuffing, but when you think of it conceptually, it’s a pretty silly dish. You take croutons or toasted bread, douse it in stock, mix it with meat, veggies, shellfish, or anything else you want, and bake it. You’re basically taking bread, drying it out, moistening it up, mixing it with some other ingredients and then drying it out again. It’s almost like a very confused sandwich (and for anyone who’s had a Thanksgiving sandwich, that is an even bigger and more delicious conundrum) For our stuffing this year, we made two variations on the same theme. Both of them were basic mushroom and sausage stuffing, but one was made with oysters, walnuts and cornbread.

Thanksgiving Stuffing:

1 lb croutons or toasted bread (Any bread works, we did one with sourdough and one with cornbread)
12 oz sliced mushrooms (crimini, white, baby bella, shitake, whatever mushroom you like or you can mix them up)
1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
½ lb sausage meat (I used sweet and hot Italian sausage, you can buy in bulk or squeeze the meat from the casing)
2 tablespoons of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyyyme
3-4 cups turkey stock
1 small package of raw oysters (optional)
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

To Cook:
1.     Sautee mushrooms, onions, celery, herbs and sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until sausage is cooked through and starting to brown
2.     Mix the above mixture with the croutons (add oysters and walnuts if using) in a large bowl
3.     Add stock until croutons are moist but not soggy, and let sit for 20 minutes for croutons to absorb the liquid
4.     Butter a baking dish, and fill with stuffing
5.     Preheat oven to 350
6.     Cover the stuffing with foil, and bake for 20 minutes
7.     Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until stuffing is starting to brown on top

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