Thursday, December 4, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Recipes

I've posted my father-in-law's Beef Tenderloin recipe. This is traditional (and yummy) for each Christmas Eve. Since dad passed away my brothers-in-law have taken up the task on Christmas Eve and make it for the family.

I've also posted my mother's recipe for Pork Wontons without mentioning that they had become a New Years Eve tradition. I don't think there's any real significant reason that they became a tradition other than we loved them and when getting our New Years Eve on we wanted to have all things yummy available for the celebration.

Those are two recipes that always make me think of the Holidays. This ACCM I wanted to share my father-in-law's recipe for stuffing. My husband has kept this recipe going and is usually in charge of making the stuffing whenever we have it. We call it stuffing, but we don't actually stuff it inside the turkey so perhaps I should call it dressing. My in-laws don't do turkey on Christmas. My family always did, so stuffing/dressing is something I think of as Holiday food.

The recipe is actually taken from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book. We add sausage with sage to it. One year my father-in-law added apples to his stuffing and boy was there an uproar in the Cayemberg house! Fruit was not to be added to the stuffing!!!!! My father-in-law, husband, and I all loved it. The hubby has added it once or twice more since that notorious meal, but more often we leave it out.

Betty Crocker's(-ish) Bread Stuffing*

1 c butter
3/4 c finely minced onion
12 c bread cubes (toasted)
1-1/2 c celery, chopped
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp dried sage
1 lb pork sausage
1/2 tbsp salt

In a large skillet cook the sausage breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces until browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet and drain in a paper towel-lined bowl. Melt butter in the same skillet. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened and translucent. Add the pepper and sage. Remove from heat.

Tear bread into cubes and place in a large bowl or roasting pan. Pour the onion/celery mixture over the bread and add the sausage. Mix with a spoon or your hands until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (don't worry it's all cooked through so it's safe!).

If the stuffing isn't moist enough add chicken broth and mix until it is as moist as you would like. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake covered until warm through. Remove foil/cover and let bake about 15 to 20 minutes longer to dry out/crisp up the top.

If you're using sausage that already has sage in it, omit the sage and you can, of course, stuff the turkey with the stuffing, but we do it separately.

*The base recipe was taken from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book (copyright 1961). The method and baking directions are different than the recipe in the book. There is no baking temperature for the stuffing. You can bake it at whatever temperature your cooking your turkey and slide it in a bottom rack or on the side. It just needs to be warmed through since all the ingredients are already cooked. You can even make it the day before and reheat it in the microwave.

The recipe with the sausage omitted the 1 tbsp of salt because sausage is usually fairly salty. I adjusted it to be 1/2 tbsp because without salt it just wasn't right. Taste some stuffing before adding any salt to see if you need it. It will depend on how much salt is already in the sausage.