Stuffing in 30 Minutes

By Sandy Hu
A new video for Video Friday

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving! We always observe the holiday at home and it’s always a cooking fest spanning several days. But I don’t mind the work. I love to prepare the meal and I love the leftovers.

Every family has dishes that are sacrosanct. In our house, it’s the stuffing. The cornbread one I make, from The New York Times International Cookbook, takes hours to prepare – chopping vegetables, mincing herbs, cubing and toasting white bread, making cornbread, and using a food grinder to grind the giblets.

Growing up in Hawaii, my mom’s was a Portuguese stuffing studded with pimentos, sliced olives and chopped linguisa.

Recently, I came across a stuffing recipe that cooks on stovetop in about 15 minutes. It uses cornbread stuffing mix to streamline the process. With the richness of sausage meat, the sweet and tangy flavor of dried plums and the nutty quality of pecans, this simple stuffing is quite tasty and is the perfect Special Fork stuffing – one that you can whip up in about a half hour, start to finish.

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California Harvest Stuffing
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 pound reduced-fat pork sausage meat
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) chopped dried plums
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 box (6 ounces) cornbread stuffing mix (about 2 1/4 cups)

In large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add sausage and cook, breaking up and crumbling meat, 1 minute. Add onion and cook 1 minute more, stirring and continuing to break up meat. Add dried plums, pecans, parsley, thyme and sage; cook and stir 5 minutes more or until onion is translucent and meat is browned. Add broth and sherry; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in stuffing mix until moistened. Cover; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Tip: To toast pecans, arrange in even layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350°F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Or put in a single layer on a plate and microwave for a minute or two until the nuts smell fragrant.

Recipe adapted from California Dried Plums.

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Posted: Nov 19th by Sandy_Hu