Friday, November 12, 2010

Gastronomy: Festive, Flavorful Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

Because of the warm temperatures across the country, it's hard to imagine that the holiday season is upon us. With Thanksgiving a mere two weeks away, it's time to start thinking about your menu.

A Thanksgiving meal is not complete without the stuffing. With endless variations to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming. My recipe is a traditional sausage, chestnut stuffing—the original recipe, derived from William’s Sonoma. With a few changes over the years, I have made it my own. The sausage and chestnuts make it rich, moist, and earthy. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Sausage, Chestnut Stuffing

1 large loaf of sourdough or hard crusted Italian ciabatta.
5 T butter
1 finely chopped large shallot or half of a large onion
1 1/2 c rough chopped, mixed assorted mushrooms (about half button white)
1 1/2 c chopped, steamed chestnuts
1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 T finely chopped fresh sage
1 T finely chopped fresh thyme
4 T finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
3 c turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Dice bread into cubes and dry out on cookie sheets for at least 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Brown sausage in a large frying pan, remove from heat and drain oil. Set aside. In the same pan, melt butter. Sauté shallot over medium heat, until translucent, stirring not to burn. Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper; sauté another 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add sausage and return to heat. Cook until lightly browned. Mix in thyme, parsley, and sage. Combine with the mushroom mixture. Add bread cubes and mix thoroughly together, adding stock a little bit at a time. The consistency should be moist, but not soggy. Place into 9 x 13 baking dish and cook for one hour until top is golden brown. Serves 12.

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About Mod City Mom

After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.

About Sarah

Sarah is a passionate cook, fashionista, writer, actor, and mother. Like all actors, she ended up working at many-a-restaurant to make ends meet and shopping at countless bargain boutiques to maintain her sense of personal style. Her culinary journey, love affair with fashion, and desire to remain true to herself after becoming a mother are the inspirations for this site. Sarah lives with her husband and two sons in Chicago.

About Leah

A polymath wannabe, Leah loves books, films, music, cooking, and travel. After co-starting a writing and editing shop in 2002, Leah has spent her spare time frequenting her favorite cities, hangouts, and haunts. Her obsession with finding the new, innovative, and quirky is the impetus behind this site. Leah lives with her two sons and husband in North San Diego County.
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