By Trish on November 13, 2011
I am a huge fan of stuffing, but I’ve never been all that crazy about those eclectic stuffing recipes which have things like raisins and walnuts and other odds and ends tossed in. I’m happy to say, though, that I’ve found my favorite, ultimate stuffing recipe — which is slightly eclectic.
For Christmas last year, I brought stuffing using this recipe from NovelEats.com, and it was a pretty big hit, even among Ty’s “meat and potatoes”-type family. I liked it, although I felt that it needed some tweaking to suit my tastes. I had a chance to have another go at it yesterday, while making it for Friends Thanksgiving. Everybody raved about how delicious it was last night, and I was all, “Score for the vegan team!” Something like that.
The funny thing was, my first batch of the stuffing was almost a disaster, and I saved it by quickly whipping up a second batch and mixing them together. And thus, my version of this tasty dish was born. It’s actually a blessing in disguise that my first batch didn’t turn out well (I’d used too much veggie broth and ended up with very soggy stuffing), because the original recipe doesn’t make a ton, and my doubling it ended up feeding the 25+ people in attendance, with a few cups of leftovers for me to take home.
The alterations I made to this recipe (other than essentially doubling it) are as follows:
- More bread
- Less sausage
- More onion
- Olive oil for cooking
- Fresh vs dry rosemary
- More apple
- Less margarine
- Cooking the celery more
Apple Sausage Stuffing
Modified from NovelEats.com
- 2 loaves of crusty bread, cubed (enough to fill two full-sized baking sheets in a single layer) — I used Avenue Bread’s sourdough and Bread Farm’s Chuckanut multigrain
- 1 package Field Roast smoked apple sage sausage, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- olive oil, minimally as needed
- 1 small head celery, chopped (approx. 6 stalks)
- 5 teaspoons dried sage
- 2 ½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 stick Earth Balance margarine, melted
- 4 apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 to 1 ½ cups dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup minced parsley
- 2 cups vegetable broth
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut your bread into cubes, and put them on baking sheets on a single layer. Bake in the oven for about five to seven minutes, until dry.
Gather the ingredients which you will be frying: the vegetarian or vegan sausage, onions, celery, sage, rosemary and thyme. Chop your sausage, onions and celery into smallish pieces. Fry the onion in a drizzle of olive oil until soft, adding the celery a couple of minutes in. Add the sausage and cook until browned (doesn’t take long for Field Roast). Add the sage, rosemary, and thyme, and cook for about two minutes. Remove from heat.
Chop your apples and parsley, and measure out your cranberries. You can probably do this while cooking the onions and sausage mixture.
Place the toasted bread cubes in a large mixing bowl, then pour the sausage mixture on top of the bread. Pour melted Earth Balance over the mixture, then add the apples, cranberries and parsley. Mix well.
Drizzle with vegetable broth until thoroughly moist but not soggy. Mix again. Transfer to a baking dish (or two) and allow to bake for about 20 minutes.
Note: Because of my cooking flop and the fact that I had to cook the stuffing quite a while before serving it last night, I ended up combining everything in my large crockpot once in was cooked, and keeping it warm in there until it was time to eat. This actually worked quite well and I plan on using the crockpot when we host Thanksgiving at our house, this year. I might even try baking the stuffing in it — would save me from having to wash a couple of Pyrex dishes.
Another note: I think we could probably get away with not using the melted margarine when combining all of the ingredients. I haven’t tried it yet, though.