Tag Archives: cranberries

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing

In addition to the caramelized onions I made this morning, I also made this chestnut and sausage stuffing. The recipe is from http://crepesofwrath.net, which has a large amount of great, varied recipes with beautiful photos. I love looking through her blog. I changed it in places to take in account our personal preferences, but check out her blog for the original recipe.

I admit I have never cooked or eaten chestnuts before outside of desserts. I also admit they were kind of a pain in the ass to cook with and I’m not sure if they were worth the effort. However, the stuffing was satisfying and tasty when finished. The chestnuts added a creamy texture and a nutty flavor, though slightly mealy in a way that I did not enjoy.

25 chestnuts (I used fresh, but you can buy pre-roasted chestnuts at the grocery store)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. mild Italian turkey sausage
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 apple, diced (I used a medium sized Fuji)
1 cup dried cranberries
6-7 cups stuffing cubes (I used cornbread stuffing cubes from Beckman’s bakery)
2-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1. First score each chestnut with a paring knife on the flat side of the chestnut. You can also poke them with a fork, but then you might not have the awesome bursting effect that you get when you make an X. Then you want to spread them out on a baking sheet. I was supposed to line it with foil, but I didn’t have foil.

They burst open after about fifteen minutes.

2. Cook in a 450 degree oven for fifteen minutes then remove.  You will want to start removing the shells as soon as possible. They are much easier to remove when they are hot.

3. Once the shells and papery skins are removed then you roughly chop them and set them aside in a bowl.

Chestnuts, the Sharpei’s of the nut world.

4.In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, casings removed, and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until there is no more pink in the sausage, about 8 minutes, then remove with a spoon to the baking sheet.

5. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, melt over medium-high heat, and add the diced onion. Saute until translucent, about 8 minutes or so. Add in the minced garlic and saute for another minute or two, until fragrant, then remove from heat.

6. On the baking sheet add the chestnuts, add the diced apple, dried cranberries, and cooled onion and garlic mixture. Toss to combine. Add in the 6 cups of stuffing cubes, then 2 cups of chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then add in more stuffing and/or chicken broth, depending on the consistency of stuffing that you prefer.


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Pizza Two Ways

Andrew and I made pizza today. We cheated on the crust and bought Boboli pre0-made 8″ mini crusts. My pizza featured herb and garlic feta cheese, whole cloves of roasted garlic, dried sweetened cranberries, and tomato sauce. Andrew’s pizza had Italian spicy sausage, pineapple, and tomato sauce.

Feta Cheese Pizza

  • one pre-made crust
  • garlic and herb feta cheese
  • canned tomato sauce
  • dried sweetened cranberries
  • roasted garlic cloves

1. To roast garlic cloves, chop the top off a head of garlic. Pour a little olive oil on top and then wrap in tin foil. Roast for thirty minutes at 375º. Let the foil pouch cool and then take the garlic out. Squeeze cloves to remove garlic.

2. Heat oven to 450º F. Add toppings to pizza crust. Put pizza in oven and bake for 8 minutes or until crust is crispy and cheese is a little melted.

I think that this would have been even better with some pesto or pine nuts added to it. I’m a little burnt out on pesto or I would have used it instead of tomato sauce.

Cheeseless Sausage and Pineapple Pizza

I think Andrew is insane for having no cheese on his pizza. For me pizza isn’t pizza without cheese. Plus, I’m not a sausage fan.

  • one spicy Italian sausage sliced
  • pineapple chunks
  • tomato sauce
  • pre-made crust

1. Slice sausage into small slices. You do not have to pre-cook your sausage. It will cook on the pizza. Add the toppings to the pizza and cook for ten minutes at 450º F or until sausage is cooked.

Tri-Grain Salad

Today I showed up for babysitting and my clients were not home. They had not called me or texted me or emailed me. I thought that I was supposed to come today, but the driveway gate was closed and no one answered the door when I rang. So, I had the evening off to cook. I went straight away to Staff of Life Market in the mid-town area of Santa Cruz. For the vegans and veggies out there, Staff of Life is amazing. They have vegan hot food bar choices, baked goods, and tons of supplements, flours, and starches. Amazing.

I decided I wanted to make a multi-grain, multi-pulse salad. What came out was delicious, though a little soggy. My landlord thought it even looked, smelled, and tasted great. She usually looks at my food with a big “Huh” on her face and says “oh, that looks interesting”. It was salty, sweet, tangy with a variety of textures.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup soft wheat berries
  • 5 medjool dates (you could use dried apricots instead)
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries (you could use raisins if you prefer)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 pkg. steamed yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pineapple salad vinegar (use whatever vinegar you have on hand)
  • sunflower oil
  • agave nectar

1. Boil a large pot of water. While water is boiling, chop carrots, dates, and avocados. Put wheat berries and rice into pot. Let boil for five minutes. Add red lentils to the pot. Boil another five minutes. Add carrots to the pot and boil. After five minutes, add millet and boil all grains until done. Then add an egg and stir. The egg is definitely optional if you want a vegan dish.

2. While the grains are cooking, microwave steam in the bag corn. You could definitely use fresh corn and I recommend doing that, but I had the frozen corn handy. Do not use canned corn. Do not use canned corn ever. If you use canned corn I will stop speaking to you because it is revolting.

3. Add dates, corn, cranberries, avocado, and chickpeas to a large bowl. Add some salt and pepper to this mix. Add minced garlic to this mix.

4. When the grains are done cooking, drain them over the sink very very well. Like through a flour sifter. I did not do this and my salad came out a little wet. Then add them to the dried fruit and chickpea mix. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add salad vinegar (I think this would be bomb with balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar) and sunflower oil. Mix until combined. I let mine cool a bit. I think it would be even better refrigerated. Then I added pesto on top of this and mixed.