Jazzed-Up Stuffing

Just about everybody has a favorite stuffing they like to make for Thanksgiving Day dinner. I make the one my grandma and mom used to make.

But there are all kinds of stuffing. I was given a cornbread stuffing recipe by a co-worker, Megan LaPlaca, which her mom has been making for years (www.grandforksherald.com/event/tag/group/Features/tag/food/). I can’t wait to try it.

And on my way to work today, I ran across artist Adam Kemp of Grand Forks, who is a native of Great Britain. We talked a little bit about Thanksgiving in his home country, and he said there are places there that celebrate the holiday, mostly for the benefit of Americans who are living overseas.

This Thanksgiving, he’s going to make stuffing for his in-laws, and his plans are to mix things up a bit, making one with walnuts, Italian sausage, celery and a little dried wheat bread.

When you get right down to it, you can put just about anything in stuffing, as the following recipe shows. It sounds a bit similar to what Adam is going to make, containing some of the same ingredients.

If you want to stray from tradition, give it a try. Or tuck it away for later use, maybe at Christmas.

Jazzed-Up Stuffing
½ stick (¼ cup) butter
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 12-ounce package herbed stuffing mix
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 cooked sausage patties or 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup chopped, fresh sage leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet; add the celery, green onions and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Stir in the stuffing mix, walnuts, sausage, eggs, sage, salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and wine; toss to coat bread. Spoon stuffing into a buttered 13-by-9-inch pan; bake 30 minutes.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 449 calories, 44 percent of calories from fat, 22 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 102 milligrams cholesterol, 67 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 881 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.