I decided to try my hand at making gluten free stuffing this year. I enjoy stuffing but I don't have to have it on Thanksgiving. I didn't really miss it last year. But I got to thinking that there are probably some gluten free friends out there who love stuffing and will miss it this holiday. So to all of you, this one's for you! :) I started with Udi's gluten free bread because I knew that they make a good gluten free bread. To be perfectly honest, I've only tried 2 brands of gluten free breads because when I went gluten free I decided to use that as an opportunity to branch out of the old standby at lunch, the sandwich. Udi's gluten free bread is stored in the freezer. I got it out and cut it up into large cubes while it was still frozen. No need to defrost first. I cut a slice in half, then each half into another half. Then I turned the slices and cut them across the slices in half, then those halves in half again. This created the right size cubes for stuffing. I got 16 cubes from each slice of bread. Then I baked the cubed bread in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes to dry the bread. Good stuffing comes from taking the time to dry out the bread first.
While the bread was drying, I chopped up my celery and onion and began sautéing in a little butter and olive oil. I chose to used butter and olive oil so that I could get the flavor from the butter without having to use all butter. I sautéed the vegetable until they were tender. Then I poured them into a large bowl and add the sage and black pepper.
Next I browned my sausage. We are rather picky about our meats and we buy all of our meat from a local farmer that raises grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free livestock. It is really good quality meat that we can feel good about eat and feeding to our kids. It is more pricy than cheap meat in the store, but about the same price or even a little less than the cost of organic grocery store meat. The local meat that we buy has a freshness and leanness that does not compare to the store. Try to find your own local farmer that is raising healthy livestock. It is worth the effort for you and your family. Anyways, back to the stuffing. :)
After browning the stuffing, I added it to the cooked veggies and spices and added the cranberries and walnuts. Then I stirred in the dried bread cubes and tossed it all around until it was mixed well and the bread was slightly coated with all the ingredients. Next drizzle on some organic chicken stock, just enough to moisten the bread. Then pour into a baking dish and bake until it is heated through and smells amazing!
I am so pleased with how this recipe turned out! It is savory and delicious. I took it to an extended family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and every really enjoyed it, even the non-gluten free family members. That's a success! But I would love to hear what you all think about it. Let me know! :)
Gluten Free Sage Sausage Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts
3 stalks organic celery, diced
1 large organic onion, diced
1 tbsp. organic unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground sage
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lb. fresh loose sage sausage
3/4 c. dried organic cranberries
3/4 c. walnuts
3/4 c. organic chicken stock
Dry the bread cubes in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes. While the bread is drying, heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan and add the diced celery and onion. Sauté the vegetables until they are tender, but not browned and overcooked.
Pour the cooked vegetables into a large bowl and add the sage and pepper; stir until evenly distributed.
Cook the sausage in the pan until browned. Then add the sausage to the vegetable and spices in the bowl. Add the cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine.
Add the dried bread cubes to the bowl and toss all the ingredients together until the bread is slightly coated with the ingredients. Drizzle the chicken stock over the cubes and stir together. Use just enough stock to moisten the bread.
Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish and pour the stuffing in it. Then cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes or until the stuffing is heated through. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to slightly brown up some of the stuffing.
Makes about 8 servings.