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November 17, 2013

Recipe for cornbread stuffing with sausage and raisins

Cornbread stuffing with sausage and raisins.

It seems impossible that in more than seven years of food blogging, I've never shared with you our family's favorite cornbread stuffing with sausage and raisins. It's not a secret, it's not wild and crazy, it's not vegetarian. It's just plain good. You do have to make cornbread, from scratch, and you can do that way in advance, even weeks in advance, and stick it in the freezer. Okay, you can buy cornbread in the bakery department at your supermarket, and the stuffing will still be really good. Just please don't use that cornbread stuffing mix from a bag, because it's packed with sugar and salt and additives, and because it takes only minutes to make your own. For the spicy sausage, I love Beef Hot Links, which pack a load of jalapeño pepper; you can use your favorite spicy turkey sausage, or andouille, anything with a good kick. If your family loves sausage more than cornbread, add the higher amount of sausage in the recipe, or even more than that. This is a stuffing that bakes in the oven, not in the turkey.

Cornbread stuffing with smoked sausage and raisins.

Cornbread stuffing with sausage and raisins

From the pantry, you'll need: cornmeal, all-purpose unbleached flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, egg, golden raisins, smoked sausage (I like Hot Links), butter, chicken broth.

Serves 8; can be multiplied.

Ingredients

For the cornbread:
1 cup corn meal (I use Kenyon's stone-ground corn meal)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Scant 5 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
1-1/4 cup nonfat (skim) milk
1/4 cup vegetable or other neutral oil
Baking spray (like Baker's Joy or PAM with flour)

For the stuffing:
6 cups stale cornbread (1 full pan of cornbread), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 medium onions, diced
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leave parsley
1/4 cup diced scallions
1/2 cup golden raisins
12-20 oz hot smoked sausage (I like Beef Hot Links), to taste
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (homemade or low-sodium store-bought)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

Directions

Make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with baking spray and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the egg, milk and oil, and beat with a fork. Pour the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture, and stir together just until the ingredients come together. Do not over mix. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cornbread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then pop it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you're going to make the stuffing right away, when the cornbread is cooled, cut it with a serrated knife into 3/4-inch cubes.

Make the stuffing: Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread the cornbread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cornbread is completely dried out and slightly browned. Remove from the oven, and toss the cornbread into a large mixing bowl. Reduce oven heat to 375°F.

In a large nonstick frying pan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the onions and celery, and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

Add the herbs, scallions and raisins, and cook for 5 minutes, until the raisins plump slightly. Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Return the empty pan to the stovetop.

Cut the sausage into 1/4-inch dice (if using Hot Links, cut each link into fourths lengthwise, then slice into 1/4-inch quarter-rounds). Add the sausage to the frying pan. If you're using very lean sausage, you might need to add 1 tsp of oil. Over medium heat, brown the sausage slightly. Pour the cooked sausage over the cornbread mixture, along with any oil in the pan.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the chicken broth, egg, salt and pepper. Beat together lightly, and pour over the cornbread mixture. With a rubber spatula or large spoon, stir all of the ingredients in the bowl together, until everything is evenly moistened.

Butter a 9x13 casserole dish (or any dish approximately that size, in any shape), and transfer the stuffing to the casserole. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Then, uncover the dish, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the top is lightly crispy.

Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More ways to use cornmeal in your pantry:
Roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan johnnycakes, from The Perfect Pantry
Polenta mini pizzas, from The Perfect Pantry
Southern cornbread, from Simply Recipes
Cornbread panzanella salad, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Brown butter rosemary orange cornbread, from Joy the Baker
Honey-sweetened corn muffins, from gfe--gluten free easily

Comments

I've never made cornbread stuffing, but this is a must. Not on Thanksgiving, though, my guys clamor for traditional bread stuffing. I don't even get to make my own heritage option, French-Canadian meat stuffing. No matter: I use that for meat pies.

I can't wait to try this. I think I'll opt for the andouille.

Connie, some people make more than one pie. I make more than one stuffing! The other will be a bread stuffing, probably the fig and pine nut version in my Meatless Holidays book. This cornbread stuffing combines spicy and sweet, and it is our absolute favorite.

I'm afraid cornbread is out for me, but this does sound delicious. I bet it would be good with whole wheat bread too!

It's about time you shared this! Cornbread was one of the first things I "learned to bake" - I think we need this on our Thanksgiving table!

Kalyn, this is definitely a holiday treat for me, too, but oh so good.

TW, I would never be allowed to leave this stuffing off our holiday table. You'll love it.

Lydia,
I usually bake a pan of cornbread on Monday or Tuesday and let it sit on the counter to dry in order to make stuffing for Thanksgiving. I would love this stuffing, and think that this year, instead of trying to appeal to the non-stuffing lovers in my household, I'll just make what *I* want and let them fight over the mashed potatoes. Since I'm hoarding sourdough bread ends I'll make a sourdough version as well.

Thanks!

Kirsten, I love the idea of making cornbread ahead and letting it get stale. I always cut mine and leave it out overnight, but why not longer, indeed! We're a two-stuffing family, and one of the stuffings is always this one. The other is meatless, and this year that's likely to be bread stuffing with figs and pine nuts, from my new e-book.

Looks crazy good, thanks for the recipe! This reminds me of the time I used to experiment in the kitchen all the time before I got too busy managing a Chinese Restaurant. You just inspired me try this one during the weekend!

Thanks for sharing your family's favorite cornbread stuffing. I have to say, I didn't grow up on cornbread stuffing, but I love it now. Just made some last week (gluten-free) and the kids loved it. I've never added raisins, but I bet that's really good.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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