So, I had family coming over for Christmas day dinner. This would be the first time I had personally hosted family for a big meal and I was ready to show off my culinary skills! I wanted to spruce up, bring a new twist to the traditional favorites. After browsing foodnetwork.com for some recipe inspiration, I settled on a take from Ina Garten – her being from New England it was typical that her’s included cranberries and apples, so here we go:
I had picked up some of the most scrumptious cranberries from the local farmer’s market – they were from a farm outside of Boerne,TX so here was a good start. To contrast the sweet, I decided on spicy Italian sausage. For a nice tart pop, the apples would be Granny Smith. For breadcrumbs, I decided not to go the traditional route, but to mimic what I’d seen my grandmother do year after year – throughout the year you save all butt-bread in the freezer, then around the holidays you use it to make stuffing. Let it thaw for about an hour or so, then place the pieces on cookie sheets and let them toast in the oven. Once toasted, a quick blast in the food processor with some seasonings and you are good to go. Don’t forget to use lots of chicken stock so it doesn’t dry out!
- Granny Smith Apples chopped
- Celery, chopped finely
- Yellow onions, chopped finely
- Spicy Italian sausage
- Bread (or you can use packaged stuffing for a quicker version)
- Seasonings (whatever you like)
- Salt & Pepper
- Brown the sausage
- Add celery and onion to the browned sausage until meat is fully cooked and veggies are sauteed
- Chop apples
- IF STUFFING FROM SCRATCH: toast bread in oven, break into pieces, pulse in food processor (don’t it get too fine, keep it bite-sized break chunks) Add seasonings. If NOT FROM SCRATCH: Follow directions on box
- In a large bowl – add sausage and veggie mix to the breadcrumbs, add apples and cranberries.
- Add some chicken stock to keep the mixture nice and moist – don’t let it get liquid-y though.
- Place in a pan and bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes