The Gourmet Dad’s Over-Stuffed Stuffing


1 loaf of bread. About 12 cups. Your choice.
Sourdough, challah, brioche, regular sliced bread, artisan bread. Whichever tickles your fancy.
1 stick unsalted butter 2 yellow onions 2 stalks celery 2 carrots 2 green apples. Cored and medium diced. 1 ½ cups mushrooms. Button mushrooms a great for this. 3 Tablespoons parsley 2 Tablespoons sage 1 Tablespoon salt 1 Teaspoon black pepper 1 cup toasted pecans 1 pound sausage. Spicy, sweet, pork, beef, chicken, boar, rabbit. Whatever you like. You can even use breakfast sausage. 1 cup chicken stock Cube your loaf of bread. About 1 inch cubes. Place them on a baking sheet with the cup of pecans, and put them in a 300F oven for 6 to 10 minutes. You want to dry out, and toast the bread so it soaks up the stuffing liquid. You may have to leave the pecans in a little longer. You want to toast them to release there oils. A good rule of thumb is, once you start to smell the pecans or nuts your toasting, they’re done. When done, remove from oven and set aside. Turn the oven up to 350F. When pecans have cooled off, place in a zip lock bad and break them up into small pieces. Slice your mushrooms, and put a medium dice on your onion, carrot and celery. Put aside. Place your mushrooms in a medium sized fry pan on medium high heat with a Tablespoon of vegetable oil. Make sure the mushrooms lay flat, and are not crowding each other. You want to cook them until they’re golden brown. If the mushrooms are crowded in the pan, they’ll stew in there own water, and not get golden brown. You may have to repeat the process 2 or 3 times to cook all your mushrooms. When done, set aside, and save all the yummy brown stuff on the bottom of the pan. With your sausage of choice, remove it from its casing and place it in the pan you cooked the mushrooms in. Cook sausage for about 10 minutes. Be sure to break up the sausage as you cook it. We want it to blend nicely with our other ingredients. We don’t want big chunks. Remove sausage from the pan, and set aside. Again, keep all the yummy flavor and juices in the pan. Add your butter to the pan and melt. Toss in your celery, onions, apples, carrots and pecans. Cook until soft, not mushy. We want to have a little firmness to our vegetables. When done, put the crumbled sausage and mushrooms in to the pan with the butter, onions, celery, carrots, celery, apples, pecans, sage, parsley, salt, pepper, chicken stock and herbs. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes to warm everything up, and mix together. Place your toasted bread pieces into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the stuffing mixture to the bowl and mix well. Place in a 9 x 12 baking pan and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. This good is a good stuffing anytime of year. Serve with whole roast chicken, grilled chicken breasts, pork, even steak. Its not just for the holidays. For the kids, just make a version with the bread, apples, butter, some brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. Keep it simple for the kiddos.
Stuffing Salad

1 loaf of crusty bread. Cubed and toasted in a 300F oven. When golden brown remove and set aside. ½ a cup of melted unsalted butter. ½ cup grape seed oil or vegetable oil. 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar. 1 red onion thinly sliced. 2 green apples cored and medium diced. 1 10oz package of grape tomatoes. Cut in half. ¾ cup of pine nuts. Toasted. ½ cup cranraisins. 2 Tablespoons sage. Chopped. 2 Tablespoons parsley. Chopped. 1 teaspoon salt. 1 teaspoon pepper. 3 good handfuls of arugala. Toss all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and serve. This is a great side dish for the summer with grilled meats.