Sausage Stuffing

Sausage Stuffing | Bakewell Junction

Sausage Stuffing | Bakewell Junction

Hi there.  If you’re like me and you’re making a big meal for a holiday or any special occasions, you prefer eating the appetizers, sides and desserts rather than the main meal.  The picture doesn’t do this dish justice and quite honestly I don’t know how to make it better.  I don’t like gravy on my stuffing but you could always add it if you like.

The last few gathering I’ve had this Sausage Stuffing as a wonderful side dish.  My sister-in-law has been making this recipe for longer than I’ve known her (at the risk of dating myself, I won’t go into how long that’s been).  She gladly gave it to me and now I’m sharing it with you.  The recipe uses a store bought stuffing mix but you can substitute a homemade stuffing also.  This stuffing recipe is so good you’ll be going back for seconds and thirds.

Enjoy!

Sausage Stuffing 

Yield:  12 servings                  Cook Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds removed from casing and crumbled
  • 1 pound of your favorite stuffing package (it’s difficult to find a full 1 pound package, so a 14 ounce one will work)
  • 20 to 30 ounces chicken canned broth (I generally start with 2 15 ounce cans and add a couple of ounces of water if I need it)
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves (optional – I skip this ingredient)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, sliced in to 8 thin pats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  Brown sausage with oil, if using, in a large sauce pan.  The last time I made this I used the broiler to brown the sausage.  Turn the sausage crumbles so the pieces brown on all sides.

Step 2:  Add the onion, celery and garlic, if using, and saute a bit longer.  Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool a bit.

Step 3:  In a half size steam tray pan or a lasagna pan, add the stuffing mix and sausage.  Mix to distribute sausage throughout the stuffing mix.  Add chicken broth and mix to moisten throughout.  If you need a little more liquid, add an ounce or two of water.  Spread mixture evenly in the pan and place the butter pats on top of the mixture.  Cover with aluminum and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  About halfway through cooking, remove the aluminum covering to allow the stuffing to brown on top.  Serve warm.

Tips:  This stuffing is delicious cold out of the fridge or as warmed leftovers.  Also, you can prepare the stuffing the day before up to covering with aluminum foil and then store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake for the special meal.

Enjoy!!!

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Sausage and Peppers

Sausage and Peppers by Bakewell Junction

Sausage and Peppers by Bakewell Junction

Last weekend we had a family get-together for my husband’s birthday and we had lots of food as usual with dishes like my Manicotti, this Sausage and Pepper recipe, Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana, homemade pizza and two Giant Fauxtess Cakes.  We weren’t sure who would be able to attend so we made sure we had plenty.

My mom used to cook sausage peppers on the stove which took a lot of time and attention.  What I’ve done is move the process into the oven to simplify it.  Now everything goes in the oven and no attention is really needed and it turns out so delicious that you would never know the difference.  You’ll notice that there’s no salt in the recipe and that’s because the sausages will provide plenty of salt to the peppers and onions.  How do you like to eat your sausage and peppers?

Enjoy.

Sausage and Peppers

Yield:  4 – 6 servings                Cook Time:  2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 package of your favorite sweet or hot Italian sausage (about 2 1/2 pounds), per your taste
  • 3 large sliced onions
  • 3 large red or green bell peppers cleaned and cubed (I use red peppers because they become so sweet)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Fresh and crusty Italian bread

Directions:

Step 1:  Cut sausage links into thirds or quarters.  Place onions, peppers, sausage and water in a disposable aluminum half tray pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Step 2:  After about 1 1/2 hours, uncover the sausage and peppers.  The onions and peppers should have reduced in volume quite a bit.  Return the tray to the oven for another 1/2 hour to brown a bit.

Step 3:  Slice a hunk of Italian bread and then slice in the middle and spread apart.  Place a good portion of the sausage and peppers in the center of the sandwich, squeeze the ends together and take a big bite.

This recipe stores well in the refrigerator and tastes just as good as left-overs.

Enjoy!!!

Frattacc e Minestra

On the weekend before Ash Wednesday, while my family and my husband’s family were over for Sunday dinner, I made a meal that my Mom and sisters hadn’t had for many years.  The meal is a typical recipe from Gallo Matese which is the town in Italy that my family comes from.  This is a hearty and filling meal.

The meal includes Frattacc (hard polenta) and Minestra (savoy cabbage with beans and sausage).  My sisters raved about the Frattacc.  I use great dried great northern beans in the Minestra and the meal should be made only after there has been a hard frost in the fall, as the savoy cabbage tastes better at that time.

Yield:  1 large family sized Frattacc

Ingredients

Beans:

  • 1/2 lb dried great northern beans (about 1 mug or 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 3 to 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, divided

Sausage:

  • 8 to 10 sweet Italian sausage links

Minestra:

  • 1 large or 2 medium savoy cabbage heads
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 quarts water

Frattac:

  • 1 lbs corn meal
  • 6 – 7 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

Directions:     

  1. Soak all beans in 3 – 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon baking soda overnight in a sauce pot; then drain and rinse well (rinse at least 3 times).
  2. Replace 3 – 4 cups water and add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda.  Bring beans to a boil and then lower heat to simmer.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add peeled garlic cloves after piercing with toothpicks (so they float and are easier to pick out).  Cook until beans are tender. Remove garlic cloves before they start to fall apart.
  3. An easy way to cook the sausages is to broil them in disposable aluminum pans.  Prepare the sausages by cutting two slits on the tops and bottoms and transfer them to the aluminum pan.  Broil on high for 5 – 10 minutes. Turn sausages over and broil another 5 – 10 minutes until cooked through..
  4. Wash and tear savoy cabbage leaves into smaller pieces.  In a stock pot add the cabbage, water (enough water to about half way as high as the savoy cabbage) and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a fast simmer.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Cook until the thickest parts of the savoy cabbage is fork tender.  Add beans, sausages and a tablespoon of the sausage drippings to the savoy cabbage.  Cook for another 15 minutes so the flavors meld together.
  6. To cook the Frattacc, bring to a rolling boil the 6 – 7 cups of water with the 2 teaspoons of salt in a separate stock pot.  Frattacc needs plenty of salt for it to taste good.  You will need to taste the water periodically before the corn meal is stirred in to ensure that there is enough.  If the taste is too bland, add salt to taste.
  7. After the water is at a rolling boil, lower the heat, so the water isn’t boiling as hard.  Begin adding the corn meal by making a mound in the stock pot.  Keep adding the corn meal using small handfuls at a time until all the corn meal forms a large mound partially above and partially below the water.
  8. Let the water and corn meal continue boiling for about 30 minutes.  Do not stir until 30 minutes has passed.
  9. After 30 minutes, begin breaking up the mound of corn meal and stirring it vigorously to incorporate it into the water.  It will be difficult to stir the mixture as it is thick but continue to stir until most of the lumps are incorporated for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Place heat-proof materials on the seat of chair and take the pot from the heat and place it on the seat of a chair to make it easier to for the next step.  Using a large flat wooden spoon gather the Frattacc to one side of the pot near a handle towards you, turn the pot 180 degrees so the Frattacc is on the side of the pot that is away from you.  While holding the handle that is close to you, begin scraping a thin slice of the Frattacc mixture (from the top of the mound to the bottom) towards you and up against the empty side of the pot.  Continue scraping thin slices to the Frattacc mixture towards you until all of the mixture is piled up on the side of the pot nearest you.
  11. Turn the pot 180 degrees again and repeat the scraping process another three times.  This will help incorporate all the corn meal and help to dry out the Frattacc to the right consistency.
  12. Place the pot on low heat for 5 – 10 minutes to help the Frattacc stay together.  Pat the outside and top side of the Frattacc so it appears more smooth.  Don’t worry about anything that might stick to the pot because soaking it in water will help it unstick.  Also anything stuck to the pot that you can scrape off and eat is delicious.
  13. Take the pot off the heat and have a clean dishtowel centered on a plate so you can turn the pot over and the Frattacc will drop onto the center of the dishtowel will a little help.  It will look somewhat like a triangle.
  14. Take a thick string (the string used by pastry shops to close their boxes is very good for this) and use it to cut the Frattacc from one low side to the other low side over the inverted V shape into 1″ – 2″ slices.  Then use the string to cut the slices approximately in half by cutting from one end of the inverted V shape to the other.  Cover with the unused ends of the dishtowel to keep it warm.
  15. To serve, place a piece of the Frattacc on one corner of a dinner plate, add a couple of large spoonfuls of the Minestra with the beans alongside the Frattacc and ensure a sausage is also placed on the plate.
  16. To eat, each forkful should include a piece of Frattacc, Minestra and sausage.

With the leftovers, you can make Le Frecule.  To do this, heat a tablespoon of oil in a sauce pan, add crumbled Frattacc to brown lightly and then add Minestra without sausage and cook until heated through.  There aren’t really measurements that go with this; it just has to do with how much is left over but usually there is about 2 parts Minestra to 1 part Frattacc crumbs.  Enjoy!!!