Basil Sausage Stuffing

basil sausage stuffing
basil sausage stuffing

I use fresh Italian basil sausage in this recipe, but if you don’t have that available to you, use ground sausage.

Basil sausage stuffing is earning rave reviews from family and friends! It is easy to make, doesn’t require stuffing a bird and it reheats well–especially to make a nice sandwich with cold cuts and cranberry mayo!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • 2 1//2 cups seasoned stuffing mix
  • 3 cups chicken, vegetable or turkey stock
  • 1 lb basil sausage
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup each, diced carrots & celery
  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 tsp each, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper
  • 2 tsp parsley
cooking instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Put onions, carrots and celery in a heavy bottomed (OVEN PROOF!) saute pan; add butter and turn heat to medium
  • Saute until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes)
  • Add sausage (remove casing); break up sausage and stir to ensure that the sausage cooks thoroughly
  • Add spices, salt & pepper; cook for about 3 minutes — until the spices are aromatic
  • Combine sausage mix with stock and stuffing mix in the saucepan; once all ingredients are incorporated, place in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour (until the stuffing mix is moist, but not wet)

Variations: Basil sausage stuffing is delicious as is, but for added crunch, use 3/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts. Or, for a bit of sweetness, add 1/2 cup very finely diced Granny Smith apples. Prefer a tart note in your stuffing? Add 1/3 cup very finely diced dried cranberries. By the way: you can use this to stuff a bird, if you like: I do recommend pre-cooking the stuffing as described to ensure that it is at a safe temperature and there is enough moisture from the stock that it won’t be dry.

Cranberry Pecan Cornbread

cranberry pecan cornbread

Cornbread is a versatile and tasty addition to a meal, or as a comforting snack. While I love cutting the sweetness with dried cranberries, I also make a variation with bacon, cheddar and jalapeno. Cornbread also freezes well (I suggest using heavy duty freezer bags), so you can make a batch and put some aside for a later date.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 cup corn meal (I use extra fine as I find it makes for a moister end product, but you may prefer the regular grind for more texture)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1 egg (should be at room temperature)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
Cooking instructions
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Line a 9″ the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan (if you don’t have parchment paper on hand, grease and flour the entire pan)
  • Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl, set aside
  • Toast pecan pieces on a cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, until they darken slightly; keep an eye on them–they can burn quickly!
  • Whisk the egg and buttermilk together until fully incorporated
  • Add the butter, cranberries and pecans
  • Incorporate wet ingredients into dry ingredients; do not overmix or the cornbread will be tough
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center of the pan comes out clean; don’t overcook, or the cornbread will be dry!

Variations (in lieu of cranberries and pecans):

  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon bits, 1 finely diced jalapeno and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbs maple syrup and 1/4 cup diced breakfast sausage
  • 2 tbs roasted garlic and 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

Farro with Roasted Tomatoes & Balsamic Vinegar

farro with roasted tomatoes & balsamic vinegar

Farro is a nutty, lucious grain often used in mediterranean cooking. It is a fine alternative to potatoes, or rice and is versatile–it goes with any kind of meat and most veggies. This recipe is a quick variation to add some zing to your dinner. Farro is also very nutritious!

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

The basic water:farro recipe is 2:1. Use a heavy bottomed pot is important to prevent scorching.

– 2 cups water
– 1 cup farro
– 1 cup grape tomatoes
– 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
– 2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– 2 tsp olive oil

Cooking instructions:
– Heat salted water (1 tsp salt) to a rolling boil; add farro and turn heat to medium-low.
– Line a cookie sheet with foil.
– Toss tomatoes, salt, pepper and olive oil until the tomatoes are coated.
– Place tomatoes under the broiler at 425 for about 15 minutes (until soft).
– When the farro has absorbed all of the liquid in the pan, toss with the vinegar.
– Drain any excess oil from the tomatoes and carefully mix into the farro.
– Serve immediately.