Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Dinner

What better way to celebrate Christmas with the family than with a festive holiday dinner?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
I even found a new recipe to foist on, er present to my dear family.

I happen to like stuffing.
And after much internal debate, I finally decided that I do call dressing stuffing even though I never stuff a bird with the stuff.
Now where was I again?
Dang, these tangents are tough on an old girl.
Oh yes, Sausage Stuffing (please note that I made a half recipe this time around knowing that my husband and the Foodie Daughter are really not into stuffing).
Here we have my mise en place:
5 cups dry bread cubes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery, including the leaves
1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
dash freshly ground black pepper
1 cup turkey stock*
*Go ahead and use chicken stock if you are "normal" and not allergic to chicken.

The herbs and seasonings were tossed with the bread cubes.

The oven was preheated to 350 degrees.

After the breakfast sausage had been sauteed and removed to drain on a paper towel,
the pan was wiped out and the butter, celery and onion were added.
These cooked over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the veggies were soft.

The veggies in the butter were added to the bread cube mixture.

And then the sausage was added.

The turkey stock was stirred in until all was coated.

This then went into a greased 9"x9" pan.
The recipe directions stated that the pan was to be tightly covered with foil and placed in the oven for 25 minutes.
Then the foil was to be removed and the stuffing was to be broiled for 5 minutes.
As I was using a glass pan and had another dish in the oven, I opted to simply raise the temperature of the oven.

Let's move on to the main course, shall we?
My husband brought home a fully cooked smoked turkey from work.
This turkey, from Burge's, is meant to be served cold or room temperature, so that meant that all I had to do was carve the thing.

I was able to set aside an entire breast for a dish for New Year's Eve
and I have an entire turkey carcass for stock making.

And dinner is served:
the turkey, sausage stuffing and roasted green beans with bacon.
A wine slushie was a fine accompaniment to this festive dinner.

The sausage was good,
but I think this would have been better if the foil had been left off for perhaps 15 minutes,
rather than just 5.
The ratings?
Considering that the husband and the Foodie Daughter really don't like stuffing that much, they gave this dish 3 and 3-1/2 stars respectively.
The Foodie Boyfriend and I each gave this 4-1/2 stars.
I think the bread to sausage ratio could be raised to make it an even better dish - along with crisping the top a bit more.
But it was still good and it was Christmas and we are a family.
What more could we want?

Again, that's what I thought.

Sausage Stuffing

Homemade sausage adds a special touch to stuffing.

See Sausage Stuffing on Key Ingredient.

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