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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

See if you can fit this in your turducken

Photo and text by KARA DiCAMILLO/ News contributor
This past weekend I visited Aquidneck Island’s new winter farmers market in Portsmouth to see what vegetables I could find in addition to a few other items.
I learned from Karla Simmons of Simmons Organic Farm that farmers had a tough time growing Brussels sprouts this year so that item has, unfortunately, been eliminated from my menu. But what I was happy to find was almost all of my ingredients for my stuffing. I bought the bread, apples and sausage at the market, and while I’ve never included butternut squash, I decided to try it as well.

Stuffing is one of my favorite elements of Thanksgiving dinner and the squash added yet another great flavor. You can stuff your local turkey and cook it as you would, or you can cook the stuffing in a casserole dish. Serve the glazed turnips or mashed turnips and potatoes as the perfect holiday accompaniment.
Apple, Squash and Sausage Stuffing
Serves 4-6
1 loaf of day old bread, cubed
1 stick of butter, plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup of water
Freshly cracked pepper
1 pound of sausage, casings removed
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon each of sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
2 apples, cubed
1 can of chicken broth
In a deep pan melt a stick of butter in the water and add the bread. Stir to incorporate the liquid, season with salt and pepper, and then set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the sausage. Break it up with a wooden spoon and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside. Then, in the same pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the squash, onion, celery, herbs, and salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the squash is tender, and then add the walnuts. Sauté for about a minute, and add the apple as well as the sausage. Sauté for another minute and then transfer the mixture to the pan with the bread and combine.
Transfer to a greased casserole dish and pour the chicken broth over the top. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the top is browned.