Pumpkin Stuffing & Sausage Stuffing with Fennel and Roasted Squash

Recipe by Denise Warren, FarmandFableMusings.Blogspot.com

Pumpkin Stuffing 

(Make chili and cornbread a few days before Thanksgiving so you have stale cornbread for this recipe.) Adapted from recipe of Dean Fearing, Mansion at Turtle Creek, Dallas, TX

6 servings

1 cup diced pumpkin (from 1 whole small pumpkin) 3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups diced sweet onions
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped sage leaves
Salt and cracked black pepper
2 1/2 cups stale cornbread
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chicken stock
Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut pumpkin in half, and then cut each half into several pieces. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool, peel away skin, and dice. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, thyme, and sage, and saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Season, to taste, with salt and cracked black pepper. Meanwhile, crumble the stale cornbread into a large bowl. Add sauteed vegetables to the corn bread crumbs. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, beaten egg, and roasted pumpkin and mix well. Then add the chicken stock and mix well. Transfer stuffing into a medium-sized casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes. To serve, cut stuffing into squares and garnish with a couple sprigs of parsley.


Sausage Stuffing with Fennel and Roasted Squash

The richness of the sausage is a great match for bright, fresh fennel and sweet squash.

8 to 10 servings 

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 cups 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (from one 1 3/4-pound squash)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
2 cups chopped celery (4 to 5 stalks)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh fennel bulb (about 1 medium)
1 pound pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
12 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old pain rustique or ciabatta bread with crust (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Scatter squash on sheet in single layer; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast squash until tender, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; cool.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and fennel. Sauté 8 minutes. Add sausage. Sauté until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked through, breaking up sausage with fork, about 10 minutes. Add all herbs; sauté 1 minute longer. Add to bowl with squash. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to very large bowl and cool. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Stir vegetable mixture into bread. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend well; whisk in 1 cup broth. Add egg mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.

Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.


Side Dishes