“This is the best thing I’ve had in a long time.” Courtesy of Joshua.
I must say this meal was pretty wonderful. Very satisfying flavors. Garlic from the potatoes, dill from the carrots, and Italian sausage/savory/sage/dried cherries from the stuffing. The colors were pretty exciting too, almost all of the rainbow. If you’re like me you save the best for last eating your least favorite first. This meal was one of the few where I balanced my bites of each component as my plate emptied. My last bite was stuffing though so maybe that ranked the highest.
I have never made stuffing before and my mom’s is the best I’ve ever had. So in creating my own I took a different route with the flavors and texture. No need to compete. At this point in my life I’m not into cooking turkey or chickens whole, so I figured why not put the turkey in the stuffing? I used turkey Italian sausage which added a wonderful flavor to the dish, along with homemade croutons, celery, onion, sage, savory, and dried cherries. The dried cherries were the best flavor addition to this stuffing!
For the potatoes I used a mixed bag of fingerlings. I roasted them in the oven with some olive oil, butter, and salt. I then roughly mashed them with some more olive oil, fresh garlic, and Garlic Gold nuggets. Extremely simple. I’m not a huge potato fan but these really hit the spot.
And lastly for the carrots, even more simple, I sautéed them in olive oil with some dried dill and salt. Doesn’t get any easier than this. These were local carrots, see the neat yellow twisty one?
Italian Sausage Stuffing (serves two)
- 1/2 lb Italian Sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 – 1 c croutons (I made mine using pretzel bread: tossed cubes with olive oil and baked until golden brown)
- small onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/8-1/4 c dried cherries, chopped
- maple syrup
- 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- 1/2 cup water
- olive oil
- In a bit of olive oil brown the Italian sausage, breaking up with spoon as it cooks. Once done set aside.
- Brown onion and celery in same pan as sausage was. Add to Italian sausage once cooked.
- Add croutons and cherries to Italian sausage. Mix.
- In a bowl mix water, chicken base, maple syrup, parsley, thyme, savory, and sage together. I didn’t measure anything just a few dashes of each. I used about 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup.
- Add seasoning mixture to Italian sausage mixture. Mix well. Everything should be moist but not soggy.
- Place evenly in a casserole dish and bake covered in a 350° oven for 40 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until top is browned.
Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- fingerling potatoes
- olive oil
- garlic, minced
- Garlic Gold nuggets, optional you can use all fresh garlic instead
- Wash and dry fingerling potatoes. If there are any areas where the skin needs to be removed peel.
- In a large skillet layer potatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, add a tablespoon of butter, and sprinkle with salt.
- Place in a 350° oven and bake 10 minutes. Toss potatoes around to fully coat in oil and butter. Continue to bake another 40 minutes until tender. A fork should pierce through with no resistance.
- Carefully remove skillet from the oven and place potatoes in a bowl along with any olive oil/butter left in the skillet. Add more olive oil (or butter if you prefer) and the garlic. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. I left some 1-2″ chunks throughout mine. Season with s&p.
- olive oil
- Slice the carrots into even width pieces on the diagonal.
- Heat up some olive oil in a skillet and when warm add the carrots, salt, and a few dashed of dill.
- Cook until tender crisp, about 5 minutes.