For the past 10 years, I have been making this Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe to bring to family dinners. I have to make double batch, to make sure there are leftovers. Sometimes I even make a small portion and bring it unbaked, as requested from my sister-in-law, so she can enjoy it after the holiday is gone.
I can’t say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, as I didn’t grow up celebrating it, or eating the traditional dishes. What I can say is that I enjoy the tradition of families cooking, and breaking bread together; being thankful for one another. I don’t have a favorite Thanksgiving dish either. In my German/American family everyone brings a dish to pass. I made dessert few times, but when I saw stuffing recipes on a TV show, I thought I must try making it. The recipe has evolved with me, and my cooking style. I added kohlrabi one year, and never stop using it. I also love to add Delicata squash, for the sweetness and the beautiful color.
The truth is that I never really liked the “real” stuffing, you know, the meet stuffed and cooked inside the bird. This recipe that could be considered a dressing instead of stuffing, is full of flavors I love. It starts with the warm spices from the Italian sausage, the sweetness from apples, the tartness from the dried cranberries, and the nice, sort of crunchy bite from kohlrabi. It is a perfect side dish for the big celebration, and it makes unbelievable hash the next morning, topped with an egg it’s just the perfect day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast. Let’s get making some Thanksgiving stuffing!
(serves 8 to 10)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 oz. dried cranberries
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 Delicata squash, thinly sliced
1 small kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups unseasoned croutons
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon butter. Add the apples and onion, and cook stirring occasionally until soften, about 10 minutes. Add cranberries and wine, stir to combine, season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place the slices of Delicata squash in a baking sheet in one single layer, and bake until tender, about 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the sweet Italian sausage, break up with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
In a 10×15 baking dish toss the fruit and onion mixture, squash, sausage, kohlrabi, croutons, red pepper flakes, combine all ingredients well, and distribute evenly in the pan. (Cook’s note: you can make the dish one day ahead. At this point, cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated, you can finish the dish 1 hour before serving dinner make sure you bring to room temperature before baking).
Cut the remainder 2 tablespoons of butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Add chicken stock to the stuffing in the baking dish, top with the parmesan. Scatter cubed butter all over the top. Place in a the middle rack of the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
This recipe was adapted from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis